The Village of Monticello is in the news again, with recent updates to Mayor Gordon Jenkins’s DWI case. On November 16th, 2013, Jenkins was pulled over and arrested for driving while intoxicated. Jenkins has since pled not guilty to the charges, but the situation has become quite a scandal in Monticello. According to the arresting officers, Jenkins was pulled over in the evening of November 16th, but refused to submit to an in-field breathalyzer test. According to the officers and police reports, Jenkins’s behavior indicated that he was intoxicated, and was subsequently arrested after refusing the breathalyzer. After his arrest, Jenkins was taken to Catskill Regional Medical Center for a blood test to show his blood alcohol content (BAC) level. Reports indicate that his BAC was nearly twice the legal limit at 0.13 percent.
The State of New York defines a DWI, driving while intoxicated, based on your blood alcohol content. You will be charged with a DWI if you operate a motor vehicle and your BAC is:
- 0.08 percent (and you are at least 21 years old);
- 0.04 percent (and you are driving a commercial vehicle);
- 0.02 percent (and you are younger than 21 years old).
The penalty for driving while intoxicated can vary based on your age, whether you were intoxicated by drugs or by alcohol (or both), whether you submitted to a breathalyzer or other BAC test, and what type of license you have. Regardless of age, your first DWI will result in your license being suspended and a hefty fine. Each subsequent DWI will cause your license to be suspended or revoked for a longer period of time, an increase in fines, and potentially jail time. In New York, refusing a breathalyzer test once you have been pulled over leads to an automatic suspension of your license for one year, and a fine of $500.
Due to his refusal to submit to a breathalyzer, Jenkins has now lost his driver’s license for one year. Jenkins claimed that the police officers violated his constitutional rights by failing to respect his right to speak with an attorney. However, a judge found that his license would be suspended for the mandatory period and a fine would be charged. That judge did not make a ruling regarding Jenkins’s allegation of not being allowed to talk to his lawyer.
In addition to the DWI charge, Jenkins is also being accused of using abusive and discriminatory language against the police involved in his arrest. Jenkins allegedly used racially charged and profane language at the police station following his arrest and during conversations with officers. Despite many called for his resignation and the Village’s Board of Trustees’ attempt to remove him from office, Jenkins remains the Mayor of Monticello. It is unclear whether how the case or potential conviction will affect Jenkins’s position as Mayor in the future. For now, the case is moving forward, though not in Monticello. On January 8th, 2014, Supreme Court Judge Frank LaBuda ordered that Jenkins’s DWI case be transferred out of the Village of Monticello to Fallsburg.
DISCLAIMER: 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.