Suffolk County District Attorney, Thomas Spota reports that the misdemeanor DWI charge will remain in effect “at this time” for the pickup truck driver, even though his blood-alcohol reading was below the legal limit. Police say the driver slammed into a limousine in Long Island wine country last week, leaving four women dead and four others injured.
Spota said Friday that it was revealed that the driver had a blood-alcohol reading of 0.066, below the legal limit of 0.08 for a DWI charge. The prosecutor said the driver’s blood was taken an hour and 40 minutes after the fatal crash on July 18th and defends the fact that this is not uncommon occurrence stating; “there are many cases where blood was taken even longer than that in time, so it’s not unusual.” Toxicologists have indicated the driver’s blood-alcohol level “was most likely over 0.08” at the time of the crash, but that the investigation remains ongoing and no final determination has been made on whether to proceed with a DWI prosecution. Spota said he is still waiting on the results of drug tests, as well as an accident reconstruction reports to determine the speed of the truck and other factors.
One of his lawyers, said in a statement Friday that the driver “is devastated by the loss of those lives and the injuries sustained,” but insisted that his client was not drunk at the time of the crash, nor did he cause the accident. Bail was initially set at $500,000 but was reduced Thursday to $50,000, Spota says in part because of the revelations about his blood-alcohol level.
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