Driving under the influence of alcohol is something that New York law enforcement takes very seriously. The penalties that a driver who is eventually convicted of a DUI or related offense can be extreme and last many years. These penalties can increase if any repeated convictions occur within a specific timeframe. With the negative publicity surrounding drunk driving, it can be too easy to create a stereotype about the type of people who are charged with drunk driving.
The reality is that virtually anyone can be found illegally driving while intoxicated. For some people, only one glass or wine or one beer can be enough to put their blood alcohol level over the legal limit, especially if they are petite or have not eaten much at the time they were drinking alcohol. Many professionals can be charged with a DUI, including those in law enforcement. That is what happened on one recent Wednesday evening when a 20-plus year veteran of the New York Police Department was stopped on Quentin Road and W. Fifth Street.
The officer was involved in a minor vehicle crash and taken to a local police precinct on suspicion of DUI. Once at the station, the 53-year old officer declined to participate in a breath test. The man is a member of the Brooklyn South Homicide Squad. It is unknown if he was on duty or off duty at the time of his arrest.
Stories like these remind everyone that even those in charge of enforcing the law can be accused of breaking the law. Fortunately our legal system provides for the ability to defend against criminal charges. If you have been arrested for drunk driving, you might wish to talk with a private attorney.
Source: New York Daily News, “Cop arrested for drunk driving in Brooklyn refuses to take Breathalyzer test,” Joseph Stepansky and Rocco Parascandola, May 29, 2014