Reginald C. Townsend has a penchant for accidents after consuming alcohol, but will he ever be convicted for Driving While Intoxicated?
On Sunday (4/10) at 7 p.m. Townsend, age 49, of 3445 Route 89 in the Town of Savannah, hit a pole on Route 90 in the Town of Montezuma. He attempted to flee the scene but was stopped by State Troopers out of Auburn.
Troopers detected the smell of alcohol, but Townsend refused to submit to a breath test. He was charged with DWI and vehicle and traffic violations. Due to his refusal to submit to a breath test, he was remanded to the Cayuga County Jail to await centralized arraignment. He was then released on appearance tickets for Montezuma Town Court on the charges.
Townsend’s last alcohol/driving accident was back on May 27, 2020 at 3:14 a.m. in the Town of Savannah by Wayne County Sheriff’s Deputies.
Townsend was operating his vehicle northbound on Route 89 in Savannah. He failed to navigate a turn in the roadway and went off the west side of the road colliding with a telephone pole. The vehicle overturned then collided with a farm fence.
Back in May of 2020, Townsend was charged with DWI, Failure to Keep Right, Moving from Lane Unsafely and Leaving the Scene of a Property Damage Accident.
According to Wayne County Sheriff Rob Milby, who reviewed the case file from the 2020 arrest, Townsend, following the accident, knocked on a nearby door asking for a ride, but was refused.
Townsend fled the scene on foot, but was located a short time later with the assistance of a K9 track.
Deputies found him aggressive, with slurred speech, disheveled clothes and barefoot. He admitted drinking “a couple of beers earlier and refused all roadside sobriety checks and a breath test.
Sheriff Milby stated, with the report filed by deputies,” I can tell you with prior experiences this was a good case.”
When the case came to court, however, the case was pled down to a misdemeanor Driving While Ability Impaired.
Wayne County District Attorney Mike Calarco offered several reasons why the case was pled down. He cited delays in court proceedings due to COVID restrictions. Due to 30/30 state requirements for a speedy trial for defendants, courts and prosecutors were under deadlines and often took plea deals in satisfaction for more serious crimes.
Both Calarco and Wayne County Sheriff Rob Milby both agreed that without pure scientific proof (a blood, or breath test) the public and courts have become wary of accepting a police officer’s sole testimony in court due to a ‘few bad cops’.
Calarco stated that unfortunately some town courts absolutely refuse to consider a Driving While intoxicated charge without a blood, or breath test.
“It is obvious that a breath test is the gold standard for a DWI.” added Mike Calarco. “The proof was insufficient to sustain a conviction for DWI. There was no test, no sobriety tests and the case was over a year old. It was a close call on the Hearing, so the decision was to made get a conviction.
A person with the Cayuga County District Attorney’s Office knew “Reggie” by reputation and said the county would prosecute the case as a DWI.
The Times will keep readers appraised of this and other DWI cases that are presented without a breath, or blood test at time of arrest.