People v. Steves

CourtNew York Town Court
Citation117 Misc.2d 841,459 N.Y.S.2d 402
Decision Date14 February 1983
PartiesThe PEOPLE of the State of New York, Plaintiff, v. Mark STEVES, Defendant.

Page 402

459 N.Y.S.2d 402
117 Misc.2d 841
The PEOPLE of the State of New York, Plaintiff,
v.
Mark STEVES, Defendant.
Webster Town Court,
Monroe County.
Feb. 14, 1983.

Page 403

People of the State of New York by John Gilbert, Asst. Dist. Atty. of Monroe County, for plaintiff.

Mark Steves, pro se.

C. BENN FORSYTH, Town Judge.

The defendant was charged with violation of Section 1193-a of the Vehicle and Traffic Law for failure to take a so-called screening test. The facts are not in dispute. The defendant was arrested upon this charge and a charge of speeding. The Court finds there was adequate cause to require a screening test under Section 1193-a. The defendant refused to take the screening test and was given the ticket in question. The issue is whether or not a violation of Section 1193-a is an infraction. The section has no punishment included.

The Court of Appeals has decided that there is no constitutional right to refuse to take an alcoholic test, People v. Thomas 412 N.Y.S.2d 845, 46 NY2d 100, 385 N.E.2d 584. Section 1193-a requires no "commissioner warnings" to the effect that failure to take the test may result in a penalty. It is clear that the Legislature did not intend to permit a motorist to decline to take this test, if the proper circumstances were present. The Court holds that the Legislature has placed upon the driver a constitutionally valid obligation. The failure to comply is as much a violation of this law as speeding or disobeying any other traffic law.

The remaining issue is whether the failure to specify the penalty prevents criminal enforcement. Section 1193-a does not state that the failure to take the test is a traffic infraction. However, Section 1800 of the Vehicle and Traffic Law states that it is a traffic infraction (unless a misdemeanor is specified) for any person to violate any of the provisions of the Vehicle and Traffic Law. The Court finds that this is a proper exercise of legislative authority and the provisions of Section 1800 are incorporated into Section 1193-a. The two sections together describe the offense and punishment. The Court, therefore, finds the defendant guilty and sets the matter down for sentence on March 2, 1983 at 7:00 P.M.

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2 practice notes
  • People v. Leontiev
    • United States
    • New York District Court
    • December 12, 2012
    ...the Defendant's refusal to submit to a PBT a cognizable offense; more particularly, a traffic infraction. As noted in People v. Steves, 117 Misc.2d 841, 459 N.Y.S.2d 402 (Monroe Town Ct.1983): ... Section 1800 of the Vehicle and Traffic Law states that it is a traffic infraction (unless a m......
  • People v. Pecora
    • United States
    • New York Town Court
    • March 1, 1984
    ...for driving while intoxicated or to ask him to submit to a blood sample, alco-sensor test or to a breath test. Compare People v. Steves, 117 Misc.2d 841, 459 N.Y.S.2d 402; People v. Abramowitz, 58 A.D.2d 921, 396 N.Y.S.2d 729; People v. Brockum, 88 A.D.2d 697, 451 N.Y.S.2d 326; People v. Ke......
2 cases
  • People v. Leontiev
    • United States
    • New York District Court
    • December 12, 2012
    ...the Defendant's refusal to submit to a PBT a cognizable offense; more particularly, a traffic infraction. As noted in People v. Steves, 117 Misc.2d 841, 459 N.Y.S.2d 402 (Monroe Town Ct.1983): ... Section 1800 of the Vehicle and Traffic Law states that it is a traffic infraction (unless a m......
  • People v. Pecora
    • United States
    • New York Town Court
    • March 1, 1984
    ...for driving while intoxicated or to ask him to submit to a blood sample, alco-sensor test or to a breath test. Compare People v. Steves, 117 Misc.2d 841, 459 N.Y.S.2d 402; People v. Abramowitz, 58 A.D.2d 921, 396 N.Y.S.2d 729; People v. Brockum, 88 A.D.2d 697, 451 N.Y.S.2d 326; People v. Ke......

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