New Jersey Personal Injury Attorneys Comment on Defense of Nun for DUI With No Recollection of Accident



Petrillo & Goldberg Law.

Petrillo & Goldberg Law.

Pennsauken, NJ (Law Firm Newswire) May 5, 2016 – A nun from Philadelphia who is on trial for drunken driving, gave testimony that she had taken a sedative, and that she had no memory of crashing her vehicle into a building on a highway in South Jersey. Sister Kimberly Miller, who is a librarian and theology teacher at a high school, was arrested following her collision into an auto repair shop in Washington Township, N.J., on November 15, 2015.

According to police, she was intoxicated, spoke in a slurred manner, had bloodshot eyes, and was wobbly as she exited her vehicle. Sister Miller was dressed in her blue habit and black veil at the time of the accident. In a trial that lasted almost six hours, her attorneys presented “the Ambien defense,” which they described as her adverse reaction to the sedative that led her to “sleep drive.” One of her attorneys stated that she was unaware that taking Ambien would affect her in this way. But police said Sister Miller did not mention that she had taken Ambien, but revealed two other medications.

Prominent New Jersey personal injury attorneys Petrillo & Goldberg stated, “Despite the fact that she took Ambien, the fact remains that she was intoxicated, and was thus, driving under the influence when she crashed her vehicle into the building, causing damage.”

She said that after she took the pill and drank a glass of altar wine, she went to bed at St. Veronica’s, the convent in North Philadelphia where she has resided for 17 years. She also said that earlier that night, she went to a book fair in Haverford where she consumed “two small glasses of wine.”

Sister Miller was charged with driving under the influence, reckless driving and leaving the scene of an accident. She was operating her Chevrolet Impala at approximately 3 a.m. when the car rear-ended a Meineke Auto Shop in Turnersville, and crashed the front door of the shop. A motorist said she called 911 after she observed Sister Miller’s car driving in an erratic manner on Route 42.

She failed two field sobriety tests and did not wish to take a third. Officer Paul Crozier said that she continually lost her balance, and that she spoke very slowly. There appear to be some discrepancies in her statements to police officers concerning her consumption of alcohol. While one officer said she told him she had had no alcohol, another officer said she told she had consumed two small glasses of wine. Police also testified that they found a bottle of wine that was half-empty in the backseat of her car. A witness for the defense said she had given Sister Miller the wine bottle at the book fair, and that half of it had been consumed there. According to police, her blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit in New Jersey.

However, Judge Whitcraft refused to admit the blood alcohol tests because police did not observe Sister Miller continuously for 20 minutes prior to giving her the Breathalyzer test. The law requires such an observation to make certain that the results are not contaminated. A decision will be rendered in the case shortly.

Learn more at Petrillo & Goldberg Law 6951 North Park Drive Pennsauken, NJ 08109 1333 Race Street Philadelphia, PA 19107 70 South Broad Street Woodbury, NJ 08096 Phone: 856-486-4343 Fax: 856:486-7979