People v. Dorsey, 2022-50001

CourtNew York Justice Court
Writing for the CourtThomas J. DiSalvo, J.
Decision Date03 January 2022
PartiesThe People of the State of New York v. Jerry L. Dorsey, Defendant.
Docket Number2022-50001

The People of the State of New York
v.

Jerry L. Dorsey, Defendant.

No. 2022-50001

Justice Court of the Town of Webster, Monroe County

January 3, 2022


Unpublished Opinion

Sandra Doorley, District Attorney, Monroe County (Elizabeth D. Buckley and Ryan R. Mulcahy [awaiting admission] of Counsel), for plaintiff.

Melchor E. Castro, for defendant

Thomas J. DiSalvo, J.

History of the Case.

The defendant was charged with speed not reasonable and prudent, VTL § 1180(a) and common law driving while intoxicated, VTL § 1192(3) on August 21, 2021. He was issued e-ticket uniform traffic informations for both charges by Officer Timothy J.Brewer of the Webster Police Department. In addition the defendant was provided with an electronic "Supporting Deposition / CPL 710.30 Notice to Support Simplified Traffic Information Local Criminal Court", relative to the speeding charge. Finally, the defendant was provided with a "Supporting Deposition/Bill of Particulars", which was directed toward the charge of driving while intoxicated. The defendant was arraigned on September 15, 2021. A blood draw was taken by a registered nurse at the Strong Memorial Hospital. Results of same are pending. Omnibus motions were subsequently filed by defense counsel, which requested that the simplified informations be dismissed as defective on their face and that evidence obtained by the police be suppressed.

Facts of the Case.

Officer Timothy J. Brewer of the Webster Police Department responded to Webster Road for a reported motor vehicle crash on August 21, 2021 at 1:30 A.M. The officer's written un-sworn narrative indicates that upon arriving at the scene he found a damaged black 2009 Chevrolet Avalanche facing in a westerly direction in a yard on the east side of Webster Road. [1] The officer discovered the defendant in the driver's seat with his seatbelt on. He further observed that the defendant's vehicle appeared to have left the eastern shoulder of the road striking a number of mailboxes before hitting a driveway and overturning. It appeared to the officer that the defendant had been operating at a speed not reasonable and prudent. The officer approached the car and engaged the defendant in conversation. During that time the officer indicated that he observed various indicia of intoxication and a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage emanating from the vehicle. The defendant did tell the officer that he was not injured. Webster Fire Department eventually arrived on the scene. Their efforts to remove the defendant from his vehicle were not successful allegedly because of the alleged lack of cooperation by the defendant. Eventually, the defendant extricated himself from the vehicle. But according to the officers's written narrative the defendant appeared unsteady on his feet and leaned on the back of his vehicle with both forearms. While speaking to the defendant the officer observed a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage emanating from his breath. Webster Ambulance then arrived on the scene. The EMT's then put the defendant on a stretcher and his neck in a brace. The defendant advised the officer that he was coming from the Coach Sports Bar and was heading home. The officer's narrative described the defendant as having poor divided attention ability while engaging in conversations and displayed varying emotions. He was then transported by ambulance to Strong Memorial Hospital. The officer followed the ambulance to the hospital in his police car. After arriving at the hospital the defendant indicated that he had consumed three to four IPA's at the said bar. At 3:06 A.M. the defendant was arrested for driving while intoxicated. The defendant's blood was drawn by registered nurse at 3:31 A.M. The above listed uniform traffic informations were then issued to the defendant.

Issues Presented

Should the uniform traffic informations be dismissed as being facially insufficient? Should the results of the blood draw be suppressed?

Legal Analysis

Speed Not Reasonable and Prudent.

VTL § 1180(a) states that "No person shall drive a vehicle at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions and having regard to the actual and potential hazards then existing." The electronically issued uniform traffic information was accompanied by the said electronically generated supporting deposition and CPL 710.30 Notice. The supporting deposition set out among other things the date, time and place of the alleged violation. In addition, under the section labeled "Additional information", it stated "Vehicle was traveling in a Northerly direction on Webster Road around a curve in the highway. Vehicle operator was operating in [sic] a speed not reasonable and prudent for the highway." It is important to determine what is necessary for a uniform traffic information to be sufficient on its face.

"A simplified traffic information, to be sufficient on its face, need only comply with the requirements of the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles; it need not provide on its face reasonable cause to believe defendant committed the offense charged (CPL 100.25, 100.40, subd. 2). But if defendant requests a supporting deposition, to which he has a statutory right, it must provide reasonable cause (CPL 100.25, subd. 2). The People's tender of such a deposition voluntarily, rather than waiting for defendant's request, should not obviate the need for the deposition to provide reasonable cause." (People v Key, 45 N.Y.2d 111, 115-116, 408 N.Y.S.2d 16, 19 [1978])The defendant argues in his motions that the uniform traffic information charging the defendant with a violation of VTL § 1180 (a) is insufficient on its face [2]

The issuance of a supporting deposition raises the standard that must be reached in order for the accusatory instruments to be sufficient on their face. [3] CPL § 100.20 requires that a supporting deposition must contain "factual allegations of an evidentiary character". In addition "... a supporting deposition of the complainant police officer or public servant, [must contain] allegations of fact, based either upon personal knowledge or upon information and belief, providing reasonable cause to believe that the defendant committed the offense or offenses charged." [4] The law defines reasonable cause as follows:"' Reasonable cause to believe that a person has committed an offense' exists when evidence or information which appears reliable discloses facts or circumstances which are collectively of such weight and persuasiveness as to convince a person of ordinary intelligence, judgment and experience that it is reasonably likely that such offense was committed and that such person committed it. Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, such apparently reliable evidence may include or consist of hearsay." [5]

In the instant case the first part of the supporting deposition does nothing more than restate the factual information already set out in the uniform traffic information. In addition, the section designated "additional information"...

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