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‘Jackass’ star Ryan Dunn was drunk and driving over 132 mph

This week was another gruesome reminder of how dangerous it is to drive while intoxicated and at excessive speeds. The events surrounding the passing of “Jackass” star Ryan Dunn and his passenger Zachary Hartwell in Pennsylvania is something that is becoming all too common in communities throughout the United States, especially here on Long Island. Police have released information that Dunn was driving his 2007 Porsche at speeds as high as 144 miles per hour when he lost control and crashed over a guardrail into trees.  The impact caused the car to burst into flames, killing Dunn and Hartwell. It is also alleged that Dunn’s blood alcohol level at the time of the crash was .19%, over two times the legal limit of .08%.

As we have discussed numerous times in this blog, these cases are grim reminders of the dangers of the crimes of Driving While Intoxicated as well as Reckless Driving. The punishments for these types of crimes seem to get tougher and tougher each passing year. For example a first time offender convicted of misdemeanor Driving While Intoxicated in New York faces anywhere from 3 years on probation to 1 year in jail, not to mention revocation of driving privileges for a minimum of 6 months. And the Court and the Department of Motor Vehicles will issues fines, surcharges and driver assessment fees that can climb into the thousands of dollars.

Let’s for one minute assume that a driver such as Ryan Dunn speeding at 140 MPH and with a blood alcohol content of .19% survives the crash and his passenger dies. The driver could face charges in New York such as Aggravated Vehicular Manslaughter (PL 125.14), a class B felony that could carry a maximum sentence of 25 years in a state penitentiary.

Driving While Intoxicated and Reckless Driving are serious crimes in the state of New York. The Police Departments in New York City and on Long Island as well as the District Attorney’s Offices are treating individuals charged with these crimes very harshly. If you or a loved one is charged with these types of crimes or any crime, it is important to be represented by a firm who will represent you zealously and protect your rights. The attorneys of Collins, McDonald, and Gann are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help those in need.

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