There is a strange story in the Buffalo News about a DWI offense where an officer responding to the incident was very seriously injured while en-route. The Niagara County DA is quoted after extensive legal research, he is unable to charge the defendant with additional offenses related to this accident.
Well, ok. But the premise, and the attempt here is disturbing. A very unfortunate accident in the course of a police officer doing his job has nothing to do with this man’s incident. The officer could have been responding to literally anything when this happened. If he had been responding to a call about a dog running through traffic, would they have tried to charge the dog with a crime?
The story also makes a big deal out of the disappointment that the man has a previous DWI (over 15 years ago) and has issued a hardship license by a local NY court. Hardship licenses are very standard, especially in rural parts of the state where people are unable to function.
What happened to the officer is horrible, there is no question, but punishing people for accidents that they had no direct influence over, and never could have forseen is inexcusable.
The report goes on that the officer and his wife are considering civil litigation against the defendant. This would be a terrible precedent, and we hope it doesn’t come to that.