He admitted he had "10 or more" drinks at a Williamstown bar before he got behind the wheel, according to Bernie Weisenfeld, spokesman for the Gloucester County prosecutor. His blood-alcohol content was 0.342.
Steven Kennedy, an electrician from Runnemede, was driving his friends to Glassboro in a Nissan sedan when the car was struck. His passengers were treated for minor injuries, but he died at the scene.
"He was doing his two friends a favor, and for that he loses his life. . . . It wasn't even his car," said his father, Bill Kennedy, a retired postal worker. "I consider him a hero."
Kennedy was among more than 20 people - family members and about a dozen friends - who wore white T-shirts bearing his son's name to the sentencing in the Gloucester County courthouse. His son had just returned to work after being laid off for a year and "was on his way to doing well. . . . Things were looking good for him," Kennedy said. "I miss the kid every day. It's mind-numbing."
Superior Court Judge M. Christine Allen-Jackson meted out the sentence, of which Berben must serve 85 percent before he can be paroled.
Upon Berben's release, his driver's license will be suspended for seven months.
Contact Jan Hefler at 856-779-3224 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow on Twitter @JanHefler. Read her blog at www.philly.com/BurlcoBuzz .