This blog has frequently noted the perils of repeated drunk driving offenses. A recent case calls attention not only to the obvious penalties of a fine, license suspension and possible incarceration for DWI, but how drunk drivers seem to compound their situation by committing other offenses.
This case involves a Long Island man who was stopped by police on the Sunrise Highway at 10:30 in the evening and arrested for DWI. The officers who made the stop quickly learned that the man had fled the scene of an accident about one hour earlier. Then, the officers noticed that the man’s nine-year-old daughter was in the car.
The first criminal act by the man was leaving the scene of an accident that New York law requires to be reported. Then, police charged him with driving while his ability was impaired by alcohol. The fact that he left the scene of an accident automatically made this charge aggravated DWI. Finally, the man was charged with endangering the welfare of a child under the age of 15 because his daughter was in the car and because he was intoxicated while doing so. The last violation invokes the statute known as Leandra’s Law, which makes drunk driving with a child in the car a felony. The news report noted that no information was available about whether the man had retained an attorney.
Anyone caught in any one of these circumstances – DWI, leaving the scene of an accident or driving with a child in the car – would be well-advised to consult an attorney experienced in defending such cases. The immediate penalties – a fine, license suspension and perhaps imprisonment – are serious enough, but a conviction can have life-long consequences. A knowledgeable defense attorney can spot useful defenses, evaluate the case and provide competent representation in court.
Source: NBC New York, “Long Island Man Charged with Aggravated DWI,” April 12, 2015