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Former Traffic Court Judge Serving New York and New Jersey

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Wife of New York congressman sentenced in DWI case

It's important to realize that a conviction for DUI/DWI here in New York can have dramatic consequences that extend beyond the criminal law realm. For instance, convicted drunk drivers face suspended licenses, ignition interlock devices and even increased insurance premiums. In fact, the lobbyist wife of a 10-term congressman learned this the hard way just last week.

Last Friday, Allison Lee, wife of Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-New York), was sentenced to 60 days in jail and three years of probation after pleading guilty to misdemeanor driving while intoxicated and aggravated unlicensed operation charges in June. She was also ordered to pay a $500 fine, a $395 state surcharge, restitution to the person whose car she damaged in the accident, and to install an ignition interlock device on any vehicle she will be driving.

According to reports, Lee, 50, was arrested back on January 18 after her involvement in a minor fender-bender that resulted in no injuries. She told police that at the time of the accident she had been texting while driving and that she had previously consumed one glass of wine at a work-related event earlier that evening.

However, a blood alcohol test administered over an hour after the accident revealed a blood alcohol content of .14, well over the legal limit.

Interestingly, Lee, director of a prominent Albany-based lobbying firm, had pleaded guilty to a charge of driving while ability impaired in late December 2011, and was ordered to pay a fine. Her license was also suspended for 90 days, meaning that her subsequent DWI arrest came during the timeframe that she was not supposed to be driving.

Shortly after her sentencing, Lee issued the following statement expressing remorse for her actions.

"I am mindful of my ongoing obligations to my son, my colleagues and my clients and am committed to living up to their trust and standards," she said. "I recognize how irresponsible my actions were and while I cannot erase my negligence, I am grateful for the opportunity to take full responsibility."

Stay tuned for more from our New York traffic law blog ...

A DWI/DUI arrest can have a serious impact on your life in a number of ways and result in various penalties. In fact, many of these penalties are much more serious than the mere license suspension or revocation.

When faced with this scenario, consider contacting an attorney who understands New York's confusing legal system, and who can help you evaluate your options and make the right decisions.

This post was provided for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice.

Source:

The Albany Times Union, "Hinchey's wife gets jail for DWI," Jordan Carleo-Evangelist, Aug. 10, 2012

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