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Sep 3 2021

Failed field sobriety tests and marijuana lead to DUI charges for New York man

A New York man faces several charges after being accused of driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs. He was involved in a multi-vehicle collision that resulted in two people getting seriously injured.

Police said Steven Valdez-Villalta, 25, was high on marijuana at the time of the crash and failed field sobriety tests. He also allegedly appeared drowsy. Valdez-Villalta was charged with felony aggravated assault by vehicle while DUI and three misdemeanors, including DUI, possession of a small amount of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

The car accident occurred when Valdez-Villalta drove his 2004 Mazda RX-8 into the path of another vehicle in Walker Township in Centre County, Pennsylvania. Police said Valdez-Villalta did not see the other car coming.

The driver of the struck vehicle sustained serious injuries in the crash, as did a passenger in the back seat of Valdez-Villalta’s car. A medical helicopter arrived at the scene of the accident.

State police found a small amount of marijuana in a bag located outside Valdez-Villalta’s car. He allegedly told officers he had smoked before going to sleep the previous night. A certified drug recognition expert claimed Valdez-Villalta was impaired as he appeared to be driving under the influence of cannabis and depressants.

In New York, DUI police officers use five standardized field sobriety tests. If you are suspected of driving while intoxicated, you will be asked to perform a number of these exercises. You have a legal obligation to take the tests as refusal may lead to your driver’s license being suspended immediately.

Be sure to listen to the instructions carefully. Do not start until the officer tells you to do so. Starting too soon and failing to follow directions could be used against you as evidence of impairment.

Keep in mind that just because you failed the tests does not mean it is game over. If you have been arrested for DUI in New York, you need a skilled defense lawyer on your side who knows how to handle such cases.

Do not take DUI charges lightly. A conviction can have many adverse effects on your life. Contact Brill Legal Group right away to learn how we can fight the charges and hold on to your driving privileges.