The People of the State of New York are the plaintiffs in this case. The defendant in the case is Patricio R. Herrera. The case is being heard in the Suffolk County District Court. Judge Salvatore A. Alamia is presiding over the case.
A New York DWI Lawyer said the defendant in this case has been charged with driving while intoxicated and failing to maintain a lane. A Dunaway, Mapp, Huntley, and Refusal hearing has been held in the case to determine which evidence in the case will be admissible during trial. The plaintiff and the defendant have been given time to submit written closing statements. Both sides have provided these statements to the court.
Officer Weinerman has been a police officer with the Suffolk County Police Department since 1998 and has made approximately 200 arrests in his career, with around 100 of those being arrests for driving while intoxicated.
On the evening of December 24th, 2007, Officer Weinerman was on duty from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. At approximately 9 p.m. he received a radio dispatch that stated a 911 call had been made that reported a silver Lincoln Town car that was swerving out of its lane on the Long Island Expressway in the east bound lane.
Officer Weinerman positioned his police car on the Expressway just east of the location of the reports. Within a short time he saw a vehicle that matched the description. A New York DWI Lawyer said the vehicle was traveling east on the Expressway near exit 59 located in the town of Brookhaven, located in Suffolk County. The officer watched the vehicle and saw it swerve over the right lane and onto the shoulder of the road.
Officer Weinerman pulled the vehicle over and approached the car and spoke with the driver, who is identified as the defendant. The defendant produced his license and officer Weinerman noticed the smell of alcohol coming from his breath. He also noticed that the driver’s eyes were glassy and bloodshot. Officer Weinerman asked the defendant to step out of the car and noticed that he was unsteady on his feet as he did so. The officer asked the defendant what he had been drinking and the defendant stated “wine.” Officer Weinerman asked him how much wine he had consumed and the defendant stated two or three, I am not sure.
The officer tried to conduct a field sobriety test, but the defendant could not follow the directions. The officer then administered a breathalyzer test and the result was a BAC of 0.14%. Officer Weinerman placed the defendant under arrest and transported him to the Fourth Precinct located in Hauppauge.
At the precinct the officer requested the defendant take a chemical test, but the defendant refused. The defendant wrote refuse in the space provided on the form, but did not sign his name on the form.
Court Discussion and Decision
It is determined that the statements made by the defendant about having wine to drink were made during a permissible investigation being made by the officer. These statements are permissible in the trial.
In regard to the admission of the refusal of the chemical test the court finds that the defendant was not given enough information about the consequences of refusing the test. A Nassau County DWI Lawyer said the defendant is a Spanish speaking individual and the court does not feel that he fully understood his rights. For this reason this evidence will not be submitted as evidence.
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