Allentown Personal Injury & Criminal Trial of James Laure:
During his Allentown personal injury and criminal trial the repeat drunk driver said he passed out and didn’t know he smashed into a vehicle occupied by a pregnant woman and children
An Allentown personal injury and criminal trial is underway for a man charged in a violent crash. James Laure had a blood alcohol level that was four times the legal limit after he ran a stop on Jan. 19, 2014. The Allentown personal injury and criminal trial reports that James Lauer hit a car occupied by a pregnant woman, her father, and her two children. The car spun and rolled over several times after Laurel crashed into the vehicle.
Jessenia Padilla was struck by a Nissan Sentra at Tilghman Street and Albright Avenue in Allentown, Pennsylvania. After the vehicle she was in stopping rolling, she looked down and felt that her legs were wet. 31 weeks pregnant, she thought she lost her baby.
“I was sure I lost my baby. It was terrible,” Padilla stated at the Allentown personal injury and criminal trial of James Laure.
The other people in the vehicle were Padilla’s father, Miguel Padilla, and Jessenia Padilla’s two children. The children were both under the age of seven.
Despite her despair over possibly losing her baby, Jessenia knew that she needed to take care of her father, Miguel, who was driving, and the two boys in the back seat. Although the boys were shaken up, they suffered mainly bumps and bruises.
Thankfully Padilla’s worry that she may have lost her unborn child after the SUV rolled over three times was assuaged when she realized the liquid was juice they bought at the store that was thrown around during the crash.
Lauer hit the Blazer on the rear driver’s side and immediately left the scene. He found a garage but witnesses were on his tail. They watched the garage until police arrived. Police found Lauer sitting in driver’s seat and too drunk to stand. Lauer reeked of alcohol. The vehicle had damage to the front, including a bumper that was nearly torn off, records say. A breath test revealed Lauer’s blood-alcohol content was 0.37. He was well above the legal limit of 0.08. The police also discovered that James Lauer had been arrested four times for DUI before this drunk driving incident. His first arrest was in 2003.
For his first offense, Lauer participated in the Accelerated Rehabiliation Disposition program, paid fines and got treatment. For his second arrest in 2006, Lauer was sentenced to 90 days to 23 months in jail with work release, of which he served three months. He paid more than $3,100 in fines and fees, lost his license.
Pennsylvania Department of Transportation records show Lauer has an ignition interlock restricted license issued– meaning his vehicle was supposed to have a device requiring the driver to take a breath test before the engine would start. The Sentra did not have the ignition interlock in it.
After the car accident, Lauer was charged with four counts, each of the accidents involving personal injury and accidents involving personal injury driver not properly licensed. He was also charged with drunken driving, illegally operating a vehicle without ignition interlock and accidents involving damage to an attended vehicle.
Before the Allentown personal injury and criminal trial, Lauer remained in prison in lieu of $25,000 bail. A message left for the public defender’s office was not returned, but Lauer said during a court appearance he was trying to hire a private attorney for the personal injury and criminal trial.
“He’s going to need the best lawyer he can get. He’s still out there, doing the same thing,” Jessenia Padilla said.
In Lehigh County Court on July 22 James William Lauer stated that he passed out while driving and did not he realized he struck an SUV carrying a pregnant woman and two children. He stated that after the crash he woke up, saw his windshield was cracked, and kept on driving. Lauer claims he wasn’t fleeing the crash. He told the court that he had groceries in the back of the car and parked in the garage to unload them.
Despite the memory loss, Lauer today pleaded guilty to several charges including fourth offense driving under the influence and five counts of accidents involving injuries. He is scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 21, where Judge Kelly Banach said he faces a mandatory minimum sentence of one year in prison and a possible maximum sentence of more than 11 years.
“I’m an alcoholic. Once I start there’s no way to stop,” said Lauer, who court records show has three prior DUI conviction. Lauer said he passed out while driving and “I didn’t even know I had an accident. I am truly sorry for what happened that day.” Lauer continued during the Allentown personal injury and criminal trial, “I thank God no one died.”
Although Lauer has had 4 DUI arrests, during his current Allentown personal injury and criminal trial he will only appear to have had three arrests. Unbelievably, the law looks at it like it is only number three because of a 10-year look-back stipulation. The DA and local lawmakers said they want to see tougher laws for repeat offenders.