Glenn R. Bruno, Esq.
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Suspected drunk driver pleads guilty to vehicular manslaughter

A 26-year-old Poughkeepsie man was in court on Dec. 16 to plead guilty to vehicular manslaughter charges stemming from a head-on collision with a motorcyclist in May, according to the Ulster County District Attorney's Office. A 41-year-old Newburgh man was killed in the crash. Sentencing will take place in February.

The incident that led to the charges happened on May 2. Investigators say that at around 10:30 p.m., the Poughkeepsie man left a Newburgh bar where he had been drinking. He was driving his Chevrolet Trailblazer northbound on U.S. Route 9W toward the Mid-Hudson Bridge ramp with his headlights off when he crashed head-on into the motorcyclist. The man's blood alcohol content at the time of the accident was .25 percent, according to the District Attorney.

The penalty for an individual facing a felony DWI charge arising from an incident where someone was killed is likely to include a period of incarceration, monetary fines and supervised probation. Accused individuals may also have their driving privileges restricted or suspended, or they may lose the right to drive completely if their driver's license is revoked.

Felony DWI charges convictions may also have long-range effects on accused people's personal and professional lives. A criminal record could be an obstacle to maintaining current and pursuing future employment opportunities.

When considering a sentence to impose after a person has been convicted, a court might consider the severity of the offense, the defendant's criminal history, and the extent to which the incident endangered or impacted the public. Because BAC tests are not always accurate, it may be possible for a DUI defense attorney to have the test results not used as evidence.

Source: The Daily Freeman, "Poughkeepsie man admits guilt in fatal crash", December 16, 2013

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