Putnam County Drunk Driver Had 12-14 Drinks Before Fatal Accident

December 21, 2007 by Mark Siesel

An expert witness in the Patterson, New York DWI trial of Raymond Knox testified this week that Knox's employee, Sandra Longchamps, was served with 12-14 drinks while she was at The Paddock Tavern on Super Bowl Sunday last February 4th. Southeast, New York prosecutors charge that as a result of Ms. Longchamps' intoxication, she drove her Ford Explorer on Route 22 head on into a minivan operated by 34 year old Kirsten Henry, who was driving with her three children and husband in the car. Both women were killed in the car accident, but Ms. Henry's three minor children ranging in age from 2 to 7 survived, as did her husband.

Mr. Knox was charged with two misdemeanors, allowing Ms. Longchamps to be served with alcohol while she was visibly intoxicated, and allowing her to drink while knowing that she "habitually drank too much." Mr. Knox pleaded not guilty in July.

There was very interesting testimony by Elizabeth Spratt, director of toxicology for the Westchester County Department of Laboratories and Research, based on an analysis of autopsy and toxicology reports. Spratt testified that she calculated that Longchamps had 12 drinks using the Widmark Factor, a standard scientific formula that assesses the victim's weight at autopsy (130 lbs.) and her blood alcohol content, which at 0.345 percent was more than 4 times the legal limit for driving while intoxicated in New York.

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New York DWI Update

December 10, 2007 by Mark Siesel

There were two significant events involving drunk drivers in New York this week. First, this past Wednesday, continuing a troubling trend which we discussed on April 8, 2007 in a post entitled "Mothers Drunk Driving In New York--An Epidemic?", 44 year old Yorktown resident Almudena Paulstich lost control of her car, struck a stone pillar, and landed in a ditch with her three children ages 3, 10 and 12 in the vehicle. According to state police, Ms. Paulstich had a blood alcohol level of .16 at the time of the accident, double the legal limit of intoxication. Ms. Paulstich was charged with misdemeanor driving while intoxicated and appeared in Somers Town Court this week.

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