The New York City Police Department’s Internal Affairs Bureau is currently investigating a police officer who was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated while operating his police cruiser late last month. 31-year-old Christopher Morris was arrested after he drove his police cruiser into a light pole while on duty. Although no one was injured, the pole struck a parked van following the early morning crash.
His fellow officers purportedly knew Morris had consumed alcohol prior to the accident. Before his shift, Morris attended a fundraiser with several other officers on behalf on another officer killed in the line of duty in December 2011. At the event, Morris’ co-workers allegedly realized he was intoxicated and requested that he be placed on desk duty during his shift that evening in order to keep him off of the streets in his patrol car. Instead, Morris was allowed to enter his vehicle and crashed shortly thereafter.
After the collision, the five year police veteran refused a breathalyzer test. Morris was taken into custody for driving while intoxicated after a police supervisor reportedly smelled alcohol on his breath. He was also suspended from the police force for 30 days.
A driving while intoxicated (DWI) charge can have serious implications. Most people charged with driving while intoxicated are concerned with potentially losing their driving privileges and how the charge might affect their job or family members. The potential penalties for DWI, aggravated DWI, or DWAID (driving while ability impaired by drugs) include fines, jail time, mandatory alcohol evaluation, screening and or treatment, the requirement to install and maintain an ignition interlock device (IID) in any vehicles the person owns or operates for 1 year, and the suspension or revocation of the accused individual’s driving license. The penalties for those with a commercial driver’s license are even more severe and can certainly cause loss of employment or job opportunities.
Since 2006, a New York driver with a blood alcohol content greater than .18 will be charged with aggravated driving while intoxicated. If convicted on an aggravated DWI charge, a driver will automatically lose his or her driving license for one year. If you were accused of driving while intoxicated or while ability impaired by drugs, you need the services of an experienced, knowledgeable attorney as soon as possible.