If a drunk driver hits a tree, does it still make a sound?

A 32-year-old While Plains man was arrested last weekend after speeding into a tree with his Volkswagen Beetle. It happened a little after 9 p.m. Friday in the Town of Pawling. The force of his vehicle completely uprooted the tree causing his car to flip into a resident’s driveway where it hit another tree. The man was trapped upside down in his car but held in place by his seatbelt. He was unconscious and his airway was damaged. He was extricated from the wreck by New York State police, Dutchess County Sheriff deputies and Pawling firefighters.

Authorities reported a strong odor of alcohol on the driver’s breath when they rescued him. After interviewing him at the hospital, he submitted to a blood alcohol test. Upon investigation, police discovered the man’s driver’s license was suspended for an earlier conviction of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. When it was all said and done the driver was charged with aggravated unlicensed operation in the first degree which is a felony. He was also charged with misdemeanor DWI, driving at an unreasonable and imprudent speed and moving from a lane in an unsafe manner. He is scheduled to appear in court in the Town of Pawling later this month.

There was a 60-year-old male passenger in the vehicle who received a massive cut to his head. Both men were transported to St. Francis Hospital by ambulance. The passenger was treated and released. The driver remains in the hospital with head trauma, a possible broken back and bruised lungs. His injuries are reportedly serious, but not life-threatening.

When faced with a felony or repeat DWIs, you often face increased jail time, larger fines and extended periods of license revocation. The best way to confront such a charge is to go to trial or plea bargain in an attempt to mitigate the consequences.

Source: Portcehster.patch.com, “Police: White Plains, Yonkers Men Charged With DWI,” William Demarest, July 9, 2012

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Glenn R. Bruno, Esq.

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