A 32-year-old man is facing a raft of charges including a count of felony drunk driving after allegedly fleeing the scene of a traffic stop on the New York State Thruway on the night of Jan. 24. The Syracuse resident is also charged with operating an unlicensed vehicle after a records check revealed that the license plates on his car were stolen. He is being detained at the Onondaga County Justice Center and is scheduled to be arraigned in the Town of Van Buren Justice Court.
The chain of events began when a New York State Police trooper pulled the man’s vehicle over near Van Buren at approximately 10:20 p.m. for an undisclosed motor vehicle violation. The man’s car allegedly struck the trooper’s police vehicle as it left the scene at a high rate of speed. A brief pursuit ensued that ended when the man’s vehicle struck a median as he attempted to exit the Thruway at Exit 39. Troopers took the man into custody at the scene and determined that he was impaired by alcohol. The man is said to have refused to provide a breath sample.
The DWI charge against the man was elevated to a felony count when troopers discovered that he had been convicted of drunk driving on at least two prior occasions during the last 10 years. He also faces counts of reckless endangerment, fleeing a police officer, and possessing stolen property.
Experienced criminal defense attorneys may advise their clients to cooperate with police even when their situations seem grim. This is because attempts to flee law enforcement invariably fail and will usually result in additional charges and stiffer penalties. Acting belligerently toward police officers could also make it far more difficult for attorneys to secure favorable terms during plea discussions with prosecutors.