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DWI: Is It Worth It?

In Waterloo, New York Wednesday night, a police officer was left with a minor head injury after an intoxicated man drove into patrolman old James Chechak’s police vehicle. The police officer’s passenger was a college intern participating in a ride-along program. The Seneca County Sheriff’s Office reports that the college intern was not hurt in the collision.

Seventy one year old Josef Ufholz was charged with driving while intoxicated. Additionally, he was charged with DWI operating with .08 of 1 percent or more and failure to yield the right of way while making a left turn. Josef Ufholz was on Waterloo Geneva Road heading west when he crossed the center line attempting to make a left hand turn in front of the Waterloo Police Department cruiser, which was headed east. This is when the collision occurred.

Patrolman Chechak was taken to Geneva General Hospital, but subsequently released. Ufholz was complaining of wrist pain but he refused medical treatment. Both vehicles involved suffered severe damage. They both required towing from the scene of the collision. Route 5 was shut down for three hours on Wednesday night while Sheriff’s deputies, a North Seneca Ambulance, and the Waterloo Fire Department were on scene.

Ufholz was arraigned in the Town of Waterloo Court and committed to the Seneca County Jail in lieu of $3,500 cash or $7,000 bond. On 9 a.m. Monday, he is scheduled to return to court.

DWI is treated as a serious crime in the state of NY, as it should be. To determine whether you’re legally driving while intoxicated, the state uses your blood alcohol concentration, or BAC. Law enforcement will charge you with DWI if your BAC is: 0.08% and you’re 21 years old or older, 0.04% and you’re driving a commercial motor vehicle., or 0.02% and you’re younger than 21 years old.

In New York, those charged with DWI face the following potential punishments:

First Offense

  • License revocation for 6 months.
  • A $500 – $1,000 fine.
  • A minimum $250 annual assessment fine, for a total of $750 in fines over three years. This is part of the state’s Driver Responsibility Program.
  • Up to 1 year in jail.
  • Possible enrollment in the New York Drinking Driver Program (DDP) and all the associated costs (see below).

Second Offense

You face these penalties if you commit another DWI or DWAI/Drugs offense within 10 years of the first violation:

  • License revocation for at least 1 year.
  • A $1,000 – $5,000 fine.
  • A minimum $250 annual assessment fine, for a total of $750 in fines over 3 years. This is part of the state’s Driver Responsibility Program.
  • Up to 4 years in jail, with a minimum of 5 days in jail or 30 days of community service.
  • Possible enrollment in the New York Drinking Driver Program (DDP) and all the associated costs (see below).

Josef Ufholz is lucky the injuries sustained in the crash caused by his DWI weren’t worse. Driving while intoxicated is dangerous and can often lead to fatalities. In the approaching holidays, intoxicated drivers are more frequently on the roads. Be careful, and drive cautiously. If you or a loved one suspect someone on the road may be intoxicated: call 911 and report the occurrence. If you or a loved one are involved in a collision with an intoxicated driver: call the authorities, and then call Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA at (727) 451-6900. Our experienced collision attorneys are here to help.

https://www.dolmanlaw.com/practice-area/drunk-driving-dui/