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Court Looks at Probable Cause for DWI Arrest


The People of the State of New York are the plaintiffs in this matter. The defendant in the case is Thomas D. Alberto. The case is being heard in the District Court of Suffolk County, First District. Judge Salvatore A. Alamia is hearing the case.

The defendant, Thomas D. Alberto has been charged with driving while intoxicated, reckless driving, speeding, and driving the wrong way. A New York Criminal Lawyer said a Dunaway and Huntley was heard in regard to the case to determine which evidence against the defendant will be submitted during trial. Both the plaintiff and the defendant have been given the opportunity to submit closing statements in the matter. The closing statement for the defendant has been received by the court. The People have not submitted a written closing statement and have thus waived their right to do so.

Before the hearing took place the People told the court that the compact disc that contained the 911 calls and dispatches that concerned the incident have been destroyed pursuant to the New York State Police Policy that only saves these recordings for six months.

Case Facts

The only witness in the case is Trooper Nunziata. A New York Criminal Lawyer said he has worked with the New York State Police for eight years and patrols the parkways located in Suffolk County.

On the tenth of September, 2007, Trooper Nunziata was patrolling with his partner Trooper Lenz. At 10:44 p.m. they received a radio dispatch to respond to an accident involving a person going the wrong way on the road. They were also informed by the dispatcher that several 911 calls had been received in regard to a car traveling the wrong way on Southern State Parkway. The callers said that the vehicle that was traveling the wrong way was speeding and that the car was involved in an accident.

When the Troopers arrived at the scene they noted that there were two cars involved in a head on collision, a 2006 Nissan Altima and a 1994 Honda Civic. A New York Criminal Lawyer said the drivers of both vehicles were still in the cars behind the wheel. They had both been injured.

The defendant was the driver of the Honda Civic. Trooper Nunziata states that the defendant was bleeding from his ear and appeared to have a head injury. Trooper Nunziata tried to talk to the defendant, but the defendant was incoherent and appeared to be only partially conscious. Trooper Nunziata detected the smell of alcohol in the vehicle and saw the defendant’s eyes were watery and bloodshot.

The defendant was taken to the hospital. Trooper Nunziata requested a blood sample, but an IV had already been placed so this was not possible. At the hospital the Trooper noted a strong smell of alcohol on the breath of the defendant. A New York Drug Possession Lawyer said based on the smell of alcohol, the condition of the defendant, and the resulting accident, the Trooper concluded that the defendant was intoxicated.

Court Discussion and Decision

Probable cause for an arrest in a driving while intoxicated case can be established by an officer who demonstrates reasonable grounds to believe that the defendant had been driving while intoxicated. However, a New York Sex Crimes Lawyer said in this case the People have not established that the defendant’s arrest was based on probable cause. For this reason all evidence that was obtained as a part of the arrest of the defendant will be suppressed.

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