The New York State Assembly minority leader was arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI) on New Year’s Eve. A breath test revealed that his blood-alcohol content (BAC) was above the state’s legal limit of 0.08 percent.
Brian Kolb, 67, was involved in a car accident in the town of Victor, south of Rochester. According to authorities, he was driving his state-owned SUV when he crashed into a ditch just down the road from his home. No one was injured in the crash.
A police officer at the scene of the accident conducted field sobriety tests, which Kolb failed. The former minority leader was taken to county jail and charged with DWI. He stepped down from his position as the state assembly’s minority leader in the days following his arrest.
Kolb’s arrest made headlines as it came just a week after he wrote a column for his hometown newspaper, cautioning readers about the dangers of driving drunk during the holidays. “Tragedy can be only one bad decision away,” he warned. The lawmaker has had a history of advocating for stricter DWI laws in New York.
Drunk driving charges should not be taken lightly as they can have far-reaching consequences. A DWI first offense is a misdemeanor in New York. Even a first-time DWI offender in the state can face harsh penalties including a yearlong jail sentence, $1,000 in fines and a revoked driver’s license. Punishment depends on several factors such as BAC and the driver’s age.
A skilled DWI attorney can build a strong defense against drunk driving charges. For instance, it may be possible to challenge BAC results as breath tests are not always foolproof.