Hip-hop fans in New York and around the country probably know Keith Cozart better by his stage name Chief Keef. The 21-year-old rapper burst onto the music scene in 2011 and has since released several highly acclaimed mixtapes and studio albums, but he has also had his share of trouble with the law. Cozart was taken into custody by police in California in January after he allegedly assaulted a music producer in his home, and he provided gossip columnists with more headlines on April 8 when he was charged with driving under the influence of drugs in Florida.
Drugged driving incidents are becoming far more common in New York and around the country according to reports from the nation's police departments and data from several federal agencies. Marijuana remains the most common illegal drug found in the systems of impaired motorists, but police in Rust Belt states like Ohio and Michigan say that they are far more concerned about an epidemic of opiate addiction.
Individuals under the age of 21 are not permitted to consume alcohol in New York, and even traces of the compound can lead to severe consequences for young drivers. The legal driving limit in New York is .08 percent for adults, but individuals under the age of 21 are considered intoxicated with a blood alcohol level of just .02 percent.
A 35-year-old New York man was charged with driving while under the influence of alcohol on the evening of Feb. 6 after he allegedly lost control of his pickup truck while attempting to make a right turn. The East Hampton resident was also charged with the unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle after police discovered that his driver's license had been suspended. Media reports indicate that the man's bail has been set at $7,500.
On March 1, a New York woman was accused of being involved in a hit and run her and her passenger with minor injuries. Authorities stated that the accident occurred at about 11:21 p.m. in Public Square in Watertown.
Law enforcement agencies in New York are struggling to develop a reliable method of identifying drivers who are too high to be behind the wheel. With the recent legalization of marijuana in many parts of the United States and the growing acceptability of marijuana use generally, the stakes are high for police. Yet there remains no reliable roadside impairment test for acute marijuana intoxication.
Those who plan on being in certain parts of New York on St. Patrick's Day should expect an increased police presence aimed at keeping drunk drivers off the road. For example, on March 14, the Putnam County sheriff announced that there would be increased patrols and sobriety checkpoints from March 16 to March 19. The extra efforts are part of the STOP-DWI campaign that is taking place across the state.
On Feb. 12, New York authorities reported that a 16-year-old man was charged with DWI after he was accused of causing a wrong-way crash. According to the report, the crash took place on Sunrise Highway service road in Bohemia.
On Jan. 21, a man in New York was accused of causing an accident and fleeing the scene after driving drunk with a child passenger in his car. The 30-year-old man was driving a 2010 Toyota in Hempstead at 2:35 a.m. when he struck a 2015 Toyota in a head-on collision. The accident happened while the defendant was making a right turn and the other driver was waiting at a red light.
Although it is extremely rare, New York residents may be interested to learn about a condition called auto-brewery syndrome. This occurs when a person's digestive system keeps too much yeast in the body. When a person with this syndrome eats a starch, the yeast and the carbohydrates from the starch can turn into ethanol. Essentially, a person may suffer the effects of alcohol, including a high blood-alcohol level, without drinking.