Bronx DWI Lawyer

New York City Ballet master arrested on DWI in Yonkers

YONKERS, N.Y. – The head of the New York City Ballet has been charged with driving while intoxicated.

The New York Times and Wall Street Journal say Ballet Master Peter Martins was stopped at a DWI checkpoint in Yonkers, about 18 miles north of New York City, around 2 a.m. on New Year's Day.

Westchester police spokesman Kieran O'Leary said Thursday he could only confirm that an Irvington resident named Peter Martins had been charged with DWI.

The ballet master issued a statement through a spokesman, saying it was a legal matter and he had been advised not to discuss it.

Martins joined the company as a principal dancer in 1970. He assumed sole directorship in 1989.

New Westchester County DWI / DUI Car Surrender Law in Effect

Beginning December 15, 2010, if you are convicted of DWI or DUI (Driving While Intoxicated) in Westchester County, New York, you will have another collateral consequence to deal with beyond your criminal record. Whether it is in White Plains, Yonkers, Mt. Kisco or any other municipality, if you are arrested by a Westchester County Police Officer and you are convicted of any DWI crime found within VTL 1192, a local allow permits the seizure of your vehicle. To be clear, the law only applies to DWI convictions associated with the Westchester County Police as opposed to Driving While Ability Impaired (a violation and not a crime) or arrests made by local municipal police officers or New York State Troopers.

Leandra's Law in Effect

If you perpetrate the misdemeanor crime of DWI / DUI in New York and there is a child in the vehicle who is 15 years old or younger, then the crime will be "bumped up'' to an "E" felony punishable by up to 1 and 1/3 to 4 years in state prison for a first time offender. Prior to this change, one could be charged with misdemeanor VTL 1192.2, VTL 1192.3 and 1192.4 (New York's DWI / DUI statutes) as well as the misdemeanor Endangering the Welfare of a Child in the event one drove drunk with a child in the car (certainly, other charges might be applicable as well). From the NYS Senate press release:

"Under Leandra’s Law, driving impaired or with at least a blood alcohol level of .08 with a child passenger age 15 and under, is a Class E felony – for both first-time and repeat offenders. The offense carries a sentence of one to four years in state prison, a fine of $1000 to $5000, and the issuance of a mandatory ignition interlock device."

"The measure mandates that ignition interlock devices are to be standard sentencing on all DWI-related offenses, mirroring legislation already passed in the Senate earlier this year."

"In the event of serious physical injury or death to a child, Leandra’s Law increases penalties. In instances of injury to a child, the driver would be charged with a Class D felony and face a state prison sentence of one to seven years. If reckless driving is a contributing factor, the charge would be a Class C felony and carry a maximum prison sentence of 15 years."

"If the driver causes the death of a child, the charge would be a Class C felony and carry a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison. If reckless driving is a contributing factor, the driver would be charged with a Class B felony and faces a prison sentence of up to 25 years."