On September 9, 2011, 51 year old Bernard Molloy, an aide with the Westchester County Board of Legislators, was arrested by the New York State Police on Route 202 in Cortlandt Manor and charged with DWI. Apparently, a breathalyzer test conducted at the precinct subsequently revealed a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.17%. The legal limit for DWI in New York is 0.08%, and an aggravated DWI can be charged if a driver has a BAC of 0.18% or above. The aggravated DWI charge was first instituted in 2004 under Section 1192 (2a) (a) of the Vehicle & Traffic Law.
Mr. Molloy was arraigned in Cortlandt Town Court on September 16, 2011 on the 9/9/11 DWI charges, and pled not guilty. The problem is that records show that a year earlier, in May of 2010 to be exact, he pled guilty to another DWI charge following a minor accident on the Bear Mountain Parkway in Cortlandt, just west of Route 202. On that initial charge, Molloy pled guilty to a misdemeanor DWI and was sentenced to a one year conditional discharge, a fine and discharge of $900.00 in total, and a six month license suspension.
The issue for Mr. Molloy now is that he has been charged with a second DWI within 10 years, and under the Vehicle and Traffic Law Section 1192, he must be charged with a felony DWI. Although Molloy has a further Court date on October 21, 2011 in the Cortlandt Town Court, local Courts such as Cortlandt do not have jurisdiction of felonies, so the case will be transferred to the Westchester County Court.
Further, Mr. Molloy is now facing the stark reality of the following as a result of an E felony DWI charge under Vehicle and Traffic Law Section 1192: A probable sentence to five years probation rather than a conditional discharge, in which the Probation Department will have involvement in the decision when he can drive again; the requirement to install and maintain at his own expense an ignition interlock device (IID) in his vehicle for at least one year, by which the vehicle will not start unless the driver has alcohol free breath; fines of at least $1,000 with a maximum of $5,000.00; the requirement to attend alcohol counseling though the Countywide program known as TASC (Treatment Alternatives For Safer Communities); the obligation to pay $750.00 in fines to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (NYSDMV), known as the “Driver Responsibility Assessment” (payable in three annual installments of $250.00 or all at once at the driver’s option); and attendance at one session of the MADD Victim’s Impact Panel. Molloy will also not be eligible to attend the New York State Drinking Driver Program, which permits drivers to obtain a conditional license to drive to and from work, because the program can only be attended once every five years, and Mr. Molloy would have been required to take this program in 2010 following his previous conviction. Thus, he is now not eligible for a conditional license.
Contact the Westchester County DWI attorneys at the White Plains, New York Law Office of Mark A. Siesel online or toll free at (914) 428-7386 if you are charged with a misdemeanor or felony DWI, a vehicular crime, or a traffic infraction, for a free initial consultation with an experienced defense attorney to discuss your rights and legal options.