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Long Island DUI critically injures passenger

Earlier this month, a 21-year-old driver from St. James was arrested in Nissequogue after he was involved in a serious accident in which one of his passengers suffered critical injuries.

The scenario unfolded in Suffolk County on Long Island on March 5, a Saturday. Some park rangers were on patrol when they spotted a vehicle that was parked by a beach. As they walked up to the car, the driver allegedly took off while they were shouting for him to stop.

Suffolk County police were alerted and discovered the car flipped over on its roof in some woods near a downed utility pole. Inside was the driver and two passengers, both 19. One of the men, a Brentwood resident, was in critical condition; the other, from Nissequogue, had injuries that were considered to be non-life threatening.

Police arrested the driver, charging him with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle and driving while under the influence of drugs. His arraignment was set for a future date.

DWI charges are always more serious when someone is injured in a crash with the allegedly impaired driver. The more serious the injuries, the more serious the charges will likely be. An accident with injuries can turn a misdemeanor DWI arrest into a felony very quickly.

But all is not lost if you are facing similar charges. The most important thing to do is to summon aid for the injured, but never self-incriminate at the scene, the hospital or the jail. Remain polite but keep silent, except to ask to speak to a criminal defense attorney who can be present for all questioning and assist you with mounting a viable defense.

Source: WABC, "Driver charged with DUI in Long Island crash that critically injured passenger," March 06, 2016

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