Police in New York took a 51-year-old man into custody on drunk driving charges on the afternoon of Jan. 27 after he was allegedly discovered passed out behind the wheel. A captain with the Port Authority Police Department, who was patrolling in a marked vehicle at the time, is said to have come across a 2008 Nissan Altima at approximately 2:00 p.m. on Gulf Avenue near the National Grid building in Richmond County’s Mariners Harbor neighborhood.
According to a written statement released by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the captain approached the car because it was blocking part of the roadway. The captain says that he observed the man slumped in the driver’s seat with his eyes closed. When he awakened, the man is said to have been unsteady on his feet as he attempted to exit his vehicle.
The captain said that he then ordered the man to perform a series of field sobriety exercises after finding a bottle of liquor in his car and smelling alcohol on his breath. The man was taken into custody after allegedly failing to pass these tests. Subsequent analysis is said to have measured the man’s blood alcohol level at .197 percent. This is more than double the New York driving limit.
Blood tests are extremely compelling pieces of scientific evidence in drunk driving cases, but experienced criminal defense attorneys may still dispute their validity in certain situations. Blood might become contaminated and any toxicology evidence collected rendered unreliable if the samples used are not collected, handled and stored according to strict protocols, and the gas chromatograph equipment used by many laboratories may identify benign substances as alcohol if it is not properly maintained and monitored.
Source: The New York Post, “Port Authority big nails DWI suspect,” Larry Celona, Jan. 28, 2018