This blog has commented more than once on the phenomenon of a driver attempting to escape from the police after being pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving. Usually, such attempts are unsuccessful and often lead to more serious criminal charges. A recent chase involving drinking and driving that began after a collision on the Long Island Expressway provides a dramatic example.
The defendant, who was allegedly drunk, crashed into two other cars on the freeway, and he then attempted to run from the scene. A man who saw the accident began to chase the driver, but he was struck by a van and suffered a serious leg injury. At that point, the driver made his way into the yard of Pride Solvents and Chemicals. He jumped into a tractor-trailer that was parked in the yard and crashed through the gate. The manager explained that the company often leaves the keys in the ignitions of trucks parked in the yard.
The defendant then drove seven miles in the tractor-trailer before crashing into a building that housed a used car business. He broke into the company’s office and attempted to find the keys for one of its cars. According to the company’s manager, the defendant used his fist to break the glass on one of the doors to gain entry. The police arrived in a few minutes and placed the man under arrest. The police have charged the man with several crimes, including grand larceny, criminal mischief, burglary, driving while intoxicated and leaving the scene of the accidents. If convicted, the man faces numerous and severe penalties, including a possible jail sentence.
These charges are indeed serious, but they do not constitute a verdict of guilty. The driver is entitled to be presumed innocent unless and until guilt is proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Anyone facing any of these charges, to say nothing of facing all of them, can benefit from a consultation with a lawyer who specializes in defending DUI cases. A knowledgeable and experienced attorney can provide a helpful review of the facts of the case, an analysis of applicable laws and possible defenses and an evaluation of the chances of obtaining a favorable plea agreement or outright acquittal.
Source: CBS New York, “Police: Suspect Arrested After LIE Crash, Chase That Left Man Seriously Hurt,” Sep. 3, 2015