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Drunk driving can wear different costumes

The variety of cases involving drinking and driving is seemingly endless. Two recent cases from Long Island show how this spectrum can range from an episode with elements of humor to an incident of absolute tragedy.

An accident on the Long Island Expressway in the early morning hours of Sep. 19, 2015 was caused by a drunk driver and resulted in the death of another driver. The victim had slowed to avoid hitting two disabled vehicles. As he slowed, his car was struck by a BMW driven by a man from Brooklyn. The victim was pronounced dead upon arrival at Nassau University Medical Center. The driver of the BMW was arrested and accused by police of being intoxicated. He was charged with a variety of DWI offenses, including second degree manslaughter, second degree vehicular manslaughter and reckless driving.

The second incident gives new meaning to the phrase “busman’s holiday”, which means to undertake job activities on a day off. A New York City bus driver was arrested after he was seen driving erratically in an MTA bus on the Northern State Parkway. After receiving a number of 911 calls, state police stopped the bus and administered a field sobriety test. The driver was found to have a blood-alcohol reading of .20 percent, more than twice the legal limit of 0.08 percent. He is facing a DWI charge as well as charges for second-degree reckless endangerment of other persons and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. Fortunately, neither the driver nor any other person was injured in the escapade.

An arrest for violation of New York’s drunk driving laws is a serious matter, even if the incident did not result in injury or death. Anyone charged with DWI is entitled to be presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. A person facing such charges may wish to consult a criminal defense attorney who specializes in defending drunk driving cases. Such a consultation can provide a helpful overview of the case, an enumeration of possible defenses and an estimate of the likelihood of obtaining a favorable plea agreement or outright acquittal.

Source: Patch.com, “Police: Brooklyn Man Charged With Manslaughter in DWI Crash on Long Island,” Ryan Bonner, Sep. 19, 2015