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Former Traffic Court Judge Serving New York and New Jersey

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New DMV decision in fatal accident

Drivers in New York may sometimes feel as though they are under siege from increasing vigilance regarding speeding or other traffic violations. The city’s stated goal of eliminating pedestrian deaths has seen many slow zones developed and more emphasis on citations in some areas. Violations for driving while intoxicated continue to be taken seriously and can leave drivers with serious long-term consequences if convicted.

In some situations, drivers involved in accidents can find themselves the target of much legal activity or oversight by the Department of Motor Vehicles. An accident that left a three-year old little girl dead after being hit by a motorist has garnered much attention. Some of this attention first started when a judge at the DMV chose in July of last year to eliminate two traffic tickets issued against the driver. The citations were related to the accident. One was for failing to utilize due care and the other was for failing to yield the right of way.

Most recently, a safety hearing at the DMV led to an additional ruling in the case. Despite requests to consider the driver’s blood alcohol content at the time of the accident, the DMV indicated that this information is not to be used. The legal threshold for a DWI charge in New York is 0.08 percent and for a DWAI charge it is 0.05 percent. The driver’s BAC was 0.039 percent, lower than both of those levels. Additionally, his earlier driving record from another state will not be considered in the case.

Fatal accidents are always tragic and while family members legitimately miss their loved ones, it is also important for drivers involved to know that their rights matter, too. Working with an attorney in these situations can be helpful.

Source: DNAinfo.com, “Driver’s Blood Alcohol Won’t Be Considered in Crash That Killed Girl, 3,” Katie Honan, January 6, 2015

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