Earlier this month, an allegedly intoxicated Hudson Falls man was arrested after he reportedly drove in the wrong direction on southbound Interstate 87. According to the Warren County Sheriff’s Office, 32-year-old Jeremy Belden was charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI) following the incident. The arrest was Mr. Belden’s sixth DWI charge in approximately nine years. It was also the fourth time Mr. Belden was accused of felony DWI.
Mr. Belden was reportedly driving on a revoked driver’s license. At the time of his arrest, he was on probation and his automobile was not equipped with an ignition interlock device (IID) installed as required by the sentencing court. Although no one was injured during the incident, Mr. Belden is now facing felony DWI charges, reckless endangerment, aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, and a misdemeanor charge of operating a motor vehicle that was not equipped with an ignition interlock device.
An IID is connected to the engine of a motor vehicle and its primary purpose is to prevent intoxicated drivers from operating motor vehicles on roadways in New York and other states. Since August 15, 2010, any driver who is convicted of any DWI charge (but not a DWAI, which is a traffic infraction, and not a crime) in the State of New York must have an ignition interlock device installed in any vehicle the driver owns or operates before he or she may resume driving a motor vehicle. An ignition interlock device will not allow the engine of a motor vehicle to start without first taking a breath sample to determine the level of alcohol in a driver’s system. If the alcohol level is above .025 percent, the engine will not start and the driver must retest. Drivers must also retest during specified intervals once the engine has started. The device will forward information regarding any failed tests to the driver’s sentencing court, the District Attorney’s Office, and the driver’s probation department.
Following a DWI conviction in New York, an ignition interlock device must be installed for at least 6 months. Monthly maintenance and installation fees are collected from a driver who is convicted of DWI unless the driver can demonstrate financial hardship or an inability to pay. Additionally, any ignition interlock device requirement is also noted on a driver’s operator license in an effort to ensure the driver fully complies with the requirement. Any evidence of tampering with the device may result in criminal charges.
A New York DWI charge can have serious implications for a driver. Most people charged with DWI do not want to lose their driving privileges and worry their job or family will be affected. If you were charged with DWI, you should contact a skilled criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
Contact the Law Office of Mark A. Siesel if you are charged with a New York DWI. We provide those accused of DWI with an aggressive and thorough defense. The Law Office of Mark A. Siesel represents clients in Westchester, Dutchess, Orange, Rockland, and Putnam Counties. To discuss your options with a knowledgeable DWI defense lawyer, contact Mark A. Siesel through his website or call him today at (888) 761-7633.
Ignition Interlock, New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services, criminaljustice.ny.gov