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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Update on New York Judge Charged at DWI Checkpoint

A rinse before a no to test
Judge declined DWI test, then was allegedly over limit after mouthwash
The AlbanyTimes Union by ROBERT GAVIN - July 8, 2009

GREEN ISLAND, NY -- Albany County Family Court Judge Gerard Maney initially refused a breath test at a sobriety checkpoint on the Green Island Bridge last month -- then tested at nearly twice the legal limit after drinking mouthwash, court papers show. Maney, 59, was charged with driving while ability impaired after he allegedly avoided a police checkpoint on the bridge, prompting a short pursuit by police on June 18. The DWAI charge, a violation similar to a speeding ticket, was brought after the judge allegedly had a blood alcohol level of 0.07. It is just below the 0.08 legal limit needed for misdemeanor driving while intoxicated. Court papers obtained by the Times Union allege Maney, after first refusing to take the initial breath test, registered a 0.15 on it. However, at least one expert said the pre-screening device that was used should be considered highly unreliable, particularly when factoring in the presence of mouthwash. Maney, who lives in Menands, told police when they stopped him just after 8:30 p.m. that he was on his way to Verdile's restaurant in Troy to pick up food. He displayed glassy eyes and had the smell of alcohol on his breath, court papers said. The documents stated that police gave Maney a horizontal eye-movement test and another known as a "walk and turn." The documents indicate he could not perform another test -- standing on one leg -- because of medical problems with his legs. It was that he was asked to perform the initial breath test, blowing into the hand-held pre-screening device. He refused to do so, court papers said. He later "admitted that he rinsed his mouth with mouthwash," and a bottle of mouthwash was found behind the driver's seat of his 2007 Chrysler, the court papers said.

Maney then consented to the test and the result was 0.15. He was taken into custody and read his rights. Court papers show after he was given a DWI "warning" and read his Miranda rights, Maney was "undecided and wanted to talk to a lawyer." At that time, he submitted to a chemical breath test, which registered his blood alcohol level at 0.07. Maney, a Family Court judge since June 1991, pleaded not guilty Tuesday at his arraignment before town Justice Joseph Liotta. "How you can go from 0.15 to 0.07 in an hour is one or both of the machines weren't operating correctly," Joseph McCoy, the attorney representing Maney, told reporters outside court. Albany lawyer Peter Gerstenzang, who specializes in DWI cases, said generally speaking, blood-alcohol results from pre-screening devices are highly deceiving and unreliable. And the results can be "off the charts" when mouthwash is involved, he said. Maney was arrested during DWI patrols prompted by Albany County District Attorney David Soares that involved 16 law enforcement agencies. The court papers say the judge was eastbound toward Troy when he made an illegal U-turn "to avoid the safety checkpoint." He allegedly turned left on Albany Avenue, and Green Island police followed him with sirens and lights activated. "Suspect Maney did not comply with the stop and proceeded down Route 32 in Maplewood and finally came to a stop in front of the Purple Pub restaurant," the court papers state. He was issued tickets for making an illegal U-turn and failure to yield to an emergency vehicle. Maney, who remains on the bench, declined comment after the hearing.


Anonymous said...

If I was caught driven while intoxicated. I would lose my job, my license and will probably be sitting in jail. It rocks been a corrupt judge in New Yuck state, much gain and no pain for these rats.

Anonymous said...

My, this JUDGE Maney is a fine example to those in FAMILY COURT.

The bigger joke is that the administrative judge has done nothing.

And the crime is that the Commission on Judicial Conduct has done nothing.

The other Brady said...

I say the judges' mother should wash his mouth out with SOAP. Shame on him for fibbing like that.

Anonymous said...

The old mouth wash in the car trick is an old method for drunks who drive.... to successfully beat a breathalizer. I worked for a judge who was a drunk driver and he threatened to keep a bottle of liquor in his car and if stopped..he would get out from behind the wheel and drink from it heavily.
The legal profession is very cognizant of how the drinking game is played. Kudos to the judicial cheat...a great example to the citizens of NY state.

Anonymous said...

Please have sympathy for these drunks who are judges. Can we expect them to obey the laws we must? No, they're better than us.

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