Bishop Pleads Not Guilty to DWI Charges, Faces Penalties for Refusing Chemical Test

It is worth repeating that anyone who violates DWI laws takes a risk of being arrested and charged with DWI. A story out of Rhode Island this week demonstrates exactly that. According to Fox News, On Tuesday, May 7, a Roman Catholic Bishop from Massachusetts was arraigned after being charged with drinking and driving in Rhode Island. 60-year-old Bishop Robert McManus, originally a Rhode Island native, had allegedly drank wine with his dinner and then drove his vehicle. During the car trip, Bishop McManus allegedly struck another vehicle and then fled the scene.

The Westerly Sun reported that Bishop McManus was charged with misdemeanor driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and leaving the scene of an accident. Additionally, Bishop McManus refused to submit to chemical tests to determine whether he was intoxicated. Bishop McManus was released on $1,000 with a promise to appear for his pretrial hearing on May 28. Due to the fact that Bishop McManus refused to submit to the chemical tests, he is also scheduled for a hearing as to that matter in the Rhode Island Traffic Tribunal on May 14. All in all, the Westerly Sun reports that Bishop McManus expressed much remorse over the incident, asking family, friends and the people that he serves to forgive him.

New York State, like Rhode Island, has its own laws regarding an allegedly drunk driver’s refusal to submit to a chemical test to determine intoxication. New York Vehicle and Traffic Law 1194 establishes New York’s implied consent law. This provision of the law basically provides that a driver who has been involved in a traffic accident or who has operated a vehicle in violation of the law and has been lawfully arrested is presumed to have consented to taking a breath test to determine intoxication. If the breath test shows that the driver had consumed alcohol, police officers can then ask the driver to submit to a chemical test.

Refusing to submit to a breath test or chemical test does not give a driver a free pass out of DWI charges. Under the same provision of the New York Vehicle and Traffic Law, a driver who refuses to submit to the tests may have his or her driver’s license suspended and subsequently revoked. Additionally, a driver can be assessed a civil penalty for refusal. The penalty is $500 for the first refusal, and $750 for a second refusal within a five year period.

For more on this story watch the video here.

The stop, arrest and testing procedure that drivers undergo when they are suspected of drinking and driving is complicated, and there are numerous important rules that police officers must follow. If you have been charged with violating DWI laws, you should immediately seek out the assistance of an experienced attorney. An experienced attorney can help you understand the DWI charges against you and can defend you in court. Call the experienced attorneys at Nave DWI Defense Attorneys today at (877) 435-7394 for a confidential consultation.

The exclusive purpose of this article is educational and it is not intended as either legal advice or a general solution to any specific legal problem. Corporate offices for Nave DWI Defense Attorneys are located at 269 W. Jefferson St.; Syracuse, New York 13202; Telephone No.: (315) 473-0899. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Attorney Advertising.

2015-07-14T20:02:36+00:00