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Early morning traffic in New York can be difficult for even the most alert driver to navigate. In addition to heavy traffic, many drivers are changing lanes and passing other drivers in attempts to get to their destinations as soon as possible. Traffic becomes even more challenging when an impaired driver joins the morning commute, and the possibility for car accidents becomes even greater.

In October 2013, a Staten Island police officer had gotten off duty around midnight and decided to have a few drinks. Several hours later, he got behind the wheel of his vehicle and proceeded to drive. While this was happening, a 51-year-old man was walking to work. Unfortunately, this pedestrian never made it to work. He was killed when the driver who had been drinking slammed into him.

Rather than stopping to check on the pedestrian, the driver continued. Rather than reporting the accident, he sped away. Later on, he returned to the accident site and was arrested. A jury has recently convicted him of drunk driving, hit-and-run and negligent homicide.

Even the novice driver should be aware of the dangers of drinking and driving. The results can be devastating to a driver, his or her family, and anyone else with whom he or she comes into contact. Car accidents happen quickly, and when a driver is impaired, reaction time is greatly diminished. In addition to the criminal penalties this driver now faces, it is possible that the victim's family will seek civil restitution through New York's civil courts.

Source: New York Daily News, "Staten Island DUI cop guilty of negligent homicide in fatal 2013 wreck", Thomas Tracy, Oct. 14, 2016

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