Police in New York believe that a man who crashed into the backyard of a Staten Island home just before midnight on June 13 was under the influence of alcohol at the time. Neighborhood residents were are said to have told responding officers that the man smelled strongly of alcohol when he exited his vehicle, and the homeowner said that he seemed agitated and unable to relax.
Reports indicate that the man also pleaded with the homeowner to not call the police and offered to pay for the damage that he had caused. However, his hopes were dashed when he discovered that the homeowner was an NYPD officer. The man was taken into custody at the scene and was subsequently charged with driving under the influence. The details of any toxicology testing were not immediately disclosed.
The homeowner told reporters that speeding cars were common on Brandis Avenue, and he said that at least five passing vehicles had lost control and plowed into an adjacent lot during the years that he has lived there. These near misses prompted the homeowner to install security cameras and ask the Department of Transportation to install a guardrail. A DOT representative said that the homeowner’s request is under review.
Many drunk driving cases in New York are settled by plea agreements worked out between criminal defense attorneys or public defenders and prosecutors. Prosecutors usually have heavy caseloads, and they may sometimes be willing to reduce the charges or lower the penalties in a drunk driving case even when the evidence at their disposal seems compelling. Criminal defense attorneys may encourage them to take this path by pointing out mitigating factors such as an offer by their clients to pay for any property damage they may have caused.