An 18-year old was arrested Wednesday, July 9 at approximately 2 A.M. for driving while intoxicated (DWI.) The young man, who asked to remain unnamed, was dropping a friend off on the way to his own home, when the Nassau Country police cruiser turned its sirens on. The police ran him through a battery of tests, then arrested him and took him to the police precinct for another test and to stay the night. The young man’s car was impounded, and his license suspended until his court date on July 30, at which time a Judge will determine the extent of the punishment.
According to the young man, “I was driving under the speed limit, in a straight line the entire time. It wasn’t until I pulled over to drop my friend off that the cops pulled me over.” The Police Officer said that he was being arrested for “speeding and failure to maintain a straight line.” They then ran the young man through a battery of tests, including walking a straight line, following a flash light, and blowing into a breathalyzer. “The field sobriety tests were negative, but they asked me to blow into the breathalyzer anyway, which I then blew a .07.”
“They never read me my rights, and did not give a valid reason for arresting me,” said the young man, who has been speaking to a lawyer. He hopes to limit the length at which he will be without a driver’s license as well as have the DWI removed from his record.
This arrest comes after a recent push by Nassau County Police to stop drunk driving during Memorial Day Weekend. Nassau County Executive Thomas Suozzi vowed to crackdown on drunk drivers. “If you are drinking and decide to get behind the wheel of a car, we’re going to arrest you because you have the potential to ruin lives. And we’re going to ruin your life and put you in jail,” said Suozzi. This comes following an accident in which a Police Officer is in critical condition after his Cruiser was hit by a drunk driver. Interestingly enough, the Officer had just pulled over a drunk driver. In 2007, there were 3,360 DWI arrests, and more are expected for 2008 due to increased patrolling.
One part of the crackdown that is in effect today, is the police department’s effort to shame people into not driving drunk. The police are releasing the photos of those charged with DWI to local newspapers, asking for them to be published. These photos can be seen online at Newsday’s Wall of Shame. Luckily for the young man arrested on July 9, Newsday does not publish pictures of those less than 19 years of age. He had driven home “buzzed” before, but after being caught he admits that it was “not worth it.”
– Brian Rubinton