Fatal Putnam County DWI Crash Leads To Conviction Of Bar Owner

In an update to our December 21, 2007 blog “Drunk Driver Had 12-14 Drinks Before Fatal Accident”, Raymond Knox, Jr., the owner of the Paddock Restaurant & Tavern, in Patterson, New York was convicted of violating New York’s alcoholic beverage law , in which a bartender or a server can be held criminally responsible for serving an alcohol impaired patron.

On January 28, 2008, Patterson Town Court Judge John King found Knox guilty of allowing his off duty bar manager, Sandra Longchamps, to be served alcohol while she was visibly intoxicated, as well as allowing gambling at his Route 22 tavern. Knox was found not guilty of the remaining charge that he served alcohol to a “habitual drunkard”, as prosecutors had claimed of Ms. Longchamps.

Southeast, New York prosecutors had charged 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’s sentencing for the two misdemeanor convictions will be on March 10, 2008. Special Prosecutor John Perone stated that he will seek incarceration for Mr. Knox as a message to bar owners that they need to be responsible for how much alcohol patrons (or in this employees) consume while on their premises.

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