Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Censure For Driving 117 MPH While Intoxicated

The New York Appellate Division for the Second Judicial Department concluded that a public  censure was the appropriate sanction for misconduct described in the court's opinion:

...the respondent entered a plea of the crimes of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol in violation of Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1192(2), an unclassified misdemeanor, and reckless endangerment in the second degree in violation of Penal Law § 120.20, a class A misdemeanor, in full satisfaction of the charges against him. The respondent admitted that on November 24, 2007, at approximately 4:40 A.M., he was driving eastbound on the Long Island Expressway, in the vicinity of exit 41, at a speed of 117 miles per hour while intoxicated and with passengers in the vehicle.

On September 5, 2008, the respondent was sentenced for the above crimes to a period of incarceration of four consecutive weekends, a period of three years of probation, and 80 hours of community service, his driver's license was suspended for a period of six months, and certain fees and fines were imposed.

Charge two alleges that the respondent engaged in conduct that adversely reflects on his fitness as a lawyer in violation of Code of Professional Responsibility DR 1-102(a)(7) (22 NYCRR 1200.3[a][7]), based on his conviction of a crime as set forth in charge one.

Based on the evidence adduced, including the respondent's admissions, the Special Referee properly sustained both charges, and the Grievance Committee's motion to confirm the Special Referee's report is granted.

In determining an appropriate measure of discipline to impose, the Grievance Committee notes that the respondent has no prior disciplinary history. In view of the mitigation advanced and the fact that the respondent's misconduct, while reckless and not to be condoned, did not involve the practice of law, we conclude that a public censure is the appropriate discipline to impose in this case.

The attorney was admitted in 2005. (Mike Frisch)

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