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New York legislator accused of drunk driving in bicycle crash

Police say that the representative for the 13th district on the Broome County Legislature was drunk when he hit a cyclist with his vehicle in Binghamton and left the scene. The incident allegedly happened after the 49-year-old legislator, who is the son of the DMV commissioner, had been drinking at a bar.

The host of an area public access television program told the media that the man took advantage of a three-for-two drink special at a bar called Merlin's. The host noted that the man lives 10 blocks from the bar but apparently could not drive that far safely. According to officials, the cyclist refused medical treatment for a minor injury. The legislator was detained shortly after midnight at his home and charged with drunk driving.

When police pull over drivers for allegedly drunk driving, they could administer field sobriety tests, breath tests or both. The officials may also request the drivers to submit to a blood test to determine their blood alcohol concentration upon arriving at the police department. However, the period between a reported incident and testing sometimes does not allow for accurate BAC results. An example of this might be when a driver is detained for drunk driving after allegedly leaving the scene of a car accident.

In such cases, authorities have to prove that the driver was intoxicated at the time of the accident. If the only evidence that they have is witness testimony, the driver could argue that the testimony of the witness is unreliable. This might be further proven with the help of a lawyer who may hire an outside investigator or medical examiner to assess the character and reputation of the witness. Discrediting the witness could result in the DWI charges being dismissed.

Source: Daily News, "DMV chief's son slams into bicyclist while driving home drunk: cops ", Thomas Tracy, October 02, 2014

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