Police Officer Arrested after Alleged Drunk Driving Crash

According to a news report from The New York Post, an NYPD officer crashed his car into a guardrail in the city. When other officers arrived at the scene, they immediately suspected officer was under the influence of alcohol.

sig-40-and-badge-158060-mHe was found in his crashed car with two flat tires, and he allegedly had a bottle of vodka in the passenger side of the vehicle. The suspect was off duty at the time and was alone in his vehicle. Authorities say they administered a breath alcohol concentration (BAC) test, and it was determined he had a BAC of .43 grams of ethanol per hundred milliliters of blood.

As our Boston drunk driving attorneys can explain, the legal limit across the county, including the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is .08 grams per hundred milliliters of blood. A BAC of .43 is so far over the legal limit that, if accurate, it is hard to imagine how a person would even be able to physically start the car. According to research from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), at a level over .4, a driver would be experiencing respiratory slowdown, heart function difficulty, central nervous system failure, and death is very possible. There is no way a person could safely drive a vehicle at this level of impairment, and it would be very difficult to physically drive at all.

The police also estimated that for a 200-pound man to have a blood alcohol level of .43, he would need to have consumed around 23 beers in a two-hour period. He was arrested on the night of the incident, but apparently the District Attorney decided not to press criminal charges until the toxicology came back from the lab, which unlike on TV, can take a considerable about of time.   He was eventually charged with an aggravated DUI and released on his personal recognizance. He was also suspended from the force.

To make matters worse for this officer, someone he pulled over for drunk driving is now suing him. The plaintiff in that case alleged, as captured on videotape, that he physically fought with plaintiff. Plaintiff is claiming officer used excessive force during his arrest, even though plaintiff admitted that he was not being cooperative with police when he was pulled over for a tinted window violation. It should be noted that this officer has not been convicted of any crime in connection with his alleged drunk driving and is presumed innocent unless and until he is found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. He has not been found liable in connection with plaintiff’s abuse of force lawsuit, as a civil complaint is only an allegation of liability.

As practical matter, the lawsuit is being stayed pending the outcome of the criminal drunk driving matter. This is common, because a criminal defendant has a right to remain silent and cannot be forced answer questions in a civil deposition while the case is pending. Once the criminal case is over, regardless of the outcome, the civil case can proceed.

If you have been injured in a Boston drunk driving accident, call for a free and confidential appointment at (617) 777-7777.

Additional Resources:

Cop in drunk-driving crash brawled with suspect after traffic stop: suit, September 28, 2015, New York Post, by Selim Algar

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1970s idol David Cassidy fined $900 in drunken-driving case , November 17, 2013, Boston Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Blog

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