A number of recent stories involving alleged instances of driving while intoxicated have been reported in and around New York City in the past several weeks.
- The first, which occurred on Long Island this past Saturday, involved a pedestrian who was struck and seriously injured while walking across the street in Huntington Station early in the morning. Police say the man was hit by a vehicle that left the scene, and they eventually arrested a 21-year old who they say drove the car that hit the man. The driver has been charged with DWI and with leaving the scene of an accident. While most people are aware that the penalties for a DWI conviction are harsh, the charge of leaving the scene, because of the allegation of serious injuries, is a felony (NY VAT § 600), and can lead to significant additional consequences in the event of a conviction.
- Next, in what can only be described as a mind-boggling situation, another man, also from Long Island, has been convicted of drunk driving for the 12th time in the last 32 years. Because the look-back period for determining whether you are a multiple offender in New York is ten years, not all of the man’s prior convictions were includable when he was sentenced. On the other hand, the current offense was aggravated DWI. The man’s blood alcohol level was allegedly 0.2, more than twice the legal limit, and in excess of the threshold (0.18) for aggravated DWI. The sentence this time was six years in prison, and marks the third time the driver has been incarcerated for drunk driving.
- Alcohol problems can affect anyone, and the proof of that statement is the arrest last month of the mayor of Monticello. Gordon Jenkins was charged with driving while intoxicated after he appeared to officers to be under the influence of alcohol at the scene of a car crash. What followed was caught on video, and includes a tirade filled with expletives aimed at officers and filmed at the local police station. Jenkins is also charged with refusing a Breathalyzer test, obstructing justice and criminal mischief, although the details of the latter two charges were not provided. Not surprisingly, while the charges are still pending, there have been numerous call for the mayor’s resignation.
These are just three examples of the continuing reports of alleged drinking and driving in New York.
George Vomvolakis Law Offices
275 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10016