A leading New York hedge fund manager is facing drunk driving and drug possession charges after being involved in a two-car crash in the Hamptons during the early morning hours of Aug. 13. Later in the day, a Suffolk County justice revoked the 35-year-old executive's driver's license for refusing to submit to a breath test before setting his bail at $1,000. The man is widely regarded on Wall Street after parlaying an initial investment of less than $1 million into a $500 million fund.
Police became involved when the BMW convertible driven by the man and a Ford SUV with a woman behind the wheel struck each other on Montauk Highway near Amagansett at approximately 3:00 a.m. Both of the drivers are said to have told responding police officers that it was the other vehicle that had crossed the center line. Reports indicate that the female SUV driver was hurt in the crash, but the nature of her injuries were not disclosed. The man escaped the accident without injury.
Police officers did not indicate what led them to believe that the man was driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and they did not reveal how a quantity of cocaine was discovered in his possession. The man's legal woes are compounded by traffic citations for crossing the center line and speeding.
People who are concerned about harsh driving while intoxicated penalties sometimes refuse to take a breath test because they believe that denying authorities toxicology evidence will lead to more lenient treatment. However, criminal defense attorneys may point out that those who take this path in New York will lose their driving privileges for a full year even if they have a perfect driving history and no criminal record. A breath test refusal could also make matters far more difficult for defense attorneys during plea negotiations concerning other criminal matters such as drug possession charges.