Police say that they received a 911 call from the daughter of a man driving on the Long Island Expressway claiming that her father was drunk. When police sorted out the situation, they discovered that the vehicle was carrying two children, aged 12 and 14. Fearing that their father was intoxicated, the older daughter dialed 911 and alerted police. When their father pulled over onto the shoulder, the girls waved frantically at approaching police cars. The officers say that the driver admitted to drinking and smoking marijuana laced with PCP. The report states that the father was charged with aggravated driving while intoxicated and other (unspecified) charges. The man’s attorney is quoted as saying that his client’s blood alcohol content (BAC) showed that he was “on the threshold” of being sober. We assume this means that his BAC was at or just above 0.08.
Section 1192 of the NY Vehicle and Traffic Law defines aggravated DWI as operating a motor vehicle (a) with a BAC of 0.18 or greater, or (b) while intoxicated, with a child passenger 15 years of age or under. And under section 1193, the offense is a class E felony.
You might be shocked that a parent would expose his own children to such dangers, but the fact is that the news stories appear on a regular basis containing remarkably similar facts.
- August 2010 – In Islip, a man was arrested for DWI with his eleven-year old son and three-year old niece in the car.
- March 2011 – A Wyandanch man was arrested for DWI with his one-year old son in the car;
- June 2012 – A Long Island man was arrested on felony drunk driving charges after a crash in which his four-year old son was a passenger in the vehicle;
- July 2012 – A crash led to aggravated vehicular homicide charges against a man whose daughter was killed in a collision, and whose pregnant girlfriend was injured, after he crashed into a store, allegedly the result of drinking and driving.
Unfortunately, this type of behavior is not at all uncommon. The above items are just a few examples of the many instances reported in the news. It should also be mentioned that in addition to felony drunk driving, these cases can lead to additional charges, including endangering the welfare of a child.
George Vomvolakis Law Offices
275 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10016