Orange County Court finds Defendant Guilty of Felony Operating a Motor Vehicle While under the Influence of Alcohol after Trial
Second Post-COVID Shutdown Felony Trial in Orange County
Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler announced on that on September 7, 2021, Orange County Court Judge Kim Hyun Chin Kim found Kevin Turnier, 28, of Stony Point, guilty of two felony counts of Operating a Motor Vehicle while under the Influence of Alcohol. The top-count convictions were rendered following a bench trial, which was the second felony trial conducted in Orange County since the Courts had stopped in-court proceedings due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Both trials were presided over by Judge Kim.
During the trial, Assistant District Attorney Christine Maggiore argued that on February 10, 2020, at about 6:26 am, Turnier had driven a 2016 Jeep Wrangler automobile on Route 9W in the Town of Highlands, while he was intoxicated and had a blood level alcohol content of .12 per centum by weight. Driving with a blood alcohol content of .08 by per centum by weight or higher constitutes a crime in New York State. One count of the indictment charged Turnier with driving while intoxicated. The other count alleged Turnier’s actual blood alcohol content was more than .08. Prosecutors also proved that Turnier had previously been convicted of Operating a Motor Vehicle While Under the Influence of Alcohol in April 2013, in the Town of Ramapo. The previous conviction rendered Turnier’s subsequent convictions for driving while intoxicated on February 10, 2020, felonies.
Turnier faces up to one and one-third to four years in prison when he is sentenced on November 4, 2021.
District Attorney Hoovler thanked the Town of Highlands Police Department for their arrest of Turnier and Village of Highland Falls Police Department for their assistance in the case.
District Attorney Hoovler commended Assistant District Attorney Christine Maggiore for her handling of the case.
“Those who drink and drive place other motorists, pedestrians, their passengers, and themselves at risk of death or serious physical injury,” said District Attorney Hoovler. “We have seen far too often the type of devastation that is wrought on innocent motorists by drunk drivers, who place their own enjoyment and convenience above the safety of others. Those who continue to drink and drive even after having been convicted of DWI crimes in the past constitute an especially serious threat to the community. My office will be requesting that this defendant be sentenced to state prison.”
This criminal charge is merely an allegation that a defendant has committed a violation of the criminal law, and it is not evidence of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial, during which it will be the State of New York’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.