Police officers and prosecutors in the Capital District take drinking and driving very seriously. A driving while intoxicated conviction can come with serious consequences, including steep fines, the loss of driving privileges and even jail time, in some cases.
A police officer stopped Casale near his home for driving without headlights on at night, according to a sheriff’s report obtained by the Albany Times-Union. He was charged with DWI after submitting to a field sobriety test showed that Casale’s blood alcohol level was 0.13 percent, or nearly twice the legal limit.
Casale apologized for “poor judgment” in a statement released after his arrest.
“I've spent the past several years helping people and was too proud and too embarrassed to ask for help myself,” he said. “I'm going to seek the help I need to get better and avoid anything like this from ever happening again.”
The case was moved from Brunswick, where Casale is a councilmember, to Schaghticoke in February. Casale’s term as a councilmember is set to expire later this year.
As Casale’s arrest shows drinking and driving laws are strongly enforced in New York.
State law makes it illegal to operate a motor vehicle while impaired by drugs or alcohol. Cops and prosecutors usually determine impairment by measuring blood alcohol content (BAC), through blood, breath or chemical urine test. A person whose BAC is 0.08 percent or higher is considered impaired and faces driving while intoxicated charges.
A first-time DWI is considered a misdemeanor, which carries as much as $1,000 in fines and the revocation of your driver’s license for six months. To get your license reinstated, you have to pay additional administrative fees and have an ignition interlock device installed on your car. The device forces a driver to take a breath test before being able to operate a vehicle and prompts the driver to complete other breath tests throughout the course of a trip.
A person caught with a BAC of .018 percent or higher—or busted for DWI with a child under the age of 16 in the car—faces aggravated. That comes with a minimum one-year license revocation and up to $2,500 in fines.
Because of the severity of the punishment, it’s important that anyone charged with DWI in the Capital District seek the advice of an experienced Albany DWI defense attorney. A lawyer can help you build the strongest possible defense, in some cases before you’ve even been charged with a crime.
Albany DWI defense attorney James E. Tyner is an experienced lawyer who has been representing clients in DWI and other criminal cases for more than a decade. Mr. Tyner has a strong track record of getting optimal results for the people that he represents. Contact us online or call 518-783-3800 to schedule a free consultation.