The plaintiff in this case is the People of the State of New York. The defendant of the case is John McAleavey. The case is being heard in the Trial Term Part VI of the Suffolk County Court. Judge Stuart Namm is presiding over the case.
The defendant has been charged with two counts of operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol (DWI).
On the fourth of September, 1985, at around seven in the evening, police officer Meyers was driving south on the William Floyd Parkway located in Shirley, New York. He approached the intersection at Parkview Drive and intended to turn left. It was at this time that he noticed a car, a 1963 Dodge, that was going around 40 mph and traveling north on the William Floyd Parkway.
Officer Meyers came to a stop at the intersection and watched as the 1963 Dodge make a very sudden and erratic turn on to the left side of Parkview Drive. Officer Meyers followed the Dodge as it continued to travel on the left side of the road. The dodge slowed to a speed of 10 mph. There were no other cars in the area and there were no cars parked along Parkview drive. Meyers turned on the lights of his police car and the dodge pulled into the right hand lane and came to a stop.
Officer Meyers approached the car and observed there was only one person in the vehicle. He requested the license, registration, and insurance card from the driver of the vehicle. Officer Meyers asked the defendant where he was going. The driver informed him that he had just dropped his son off and was going home.
Officer Meyers leaned in closer to the defendant and smelled alcohol on his breath. He also noticed that the driver’s eyes were glassy and bloodshot. He asked the defendant to step out of the vehicle and then requested that he perform several field sobriety tests. The defendant was unable to recite the alphabet or balance on one foot. The defendant was staggering and had to lean against the car for support. Officer Meyers also noted that the defendant’s face was reddish in color.
Officer Meyers took the defendant to the precinct and read him his Miranda rights. The defendant responded that he did not understand what the officer was talking about.
Case Discussion and Conclusion
Police Officer Meyers witnessed the defendant making an erratic turn in the road and driving on the wrong side of the road. This behavior gave officer Meyers the right to pull over the vehicle. Officer Meyers is experienced in conducting field sobriety tests and determining whether or not a person is under the influence of alcohol. After conducting these tests it was concluded that the defendant was under the influence of alcohol and the arrest was made.
The court concludes that the arrest of the defendant was lawful as there was probable cause indicated for the arrest. Additionally, the statements that were made by the defendant to officer Meyers about where he was going will be admitted in evidence in the trial. The statements that were made by the defendant in regard to his Miranda rights will not be admitted in trial.
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