I was so incredibly heartbroken to hear about the deadly limo crash in Cutchogue, New York a couple weekends ago. Even though the young women were being proactive and rented a limousine so they could drink and travel safely, they could not avoid other individual’s foolish and extremely irresponsible behavior. The limousine was carrying 8 women in their early 20’s back from a local vineyard when it was T-boned by the pickup truck. Three women were pronounced dead at the scene, while a fourth women died later on at the hospital. The rest of the young women, including the limo driver, were all taken to nearby medical facilities with serious injuries. The man driving the truck, 55-year-old Steven Romeo, told authorities he had been drinking beer prior to the deadly accident. Although Mr. Romeo’s blood-alcohol level has still not been made public, prosecutors have announced Romeo has plead not guilty to the charge of driving while intoxicated. The limousine driver is now also under scrutiny, as a witness recently told police he saw the limo driver make the U-turn “right in front” of Romeo’s pickup truck. While U-turns are legal at the intersection in question, the Suffolk County district attorney Thomas Spota said that limousines are too long to make the turn easily and can sometimes block oncoming traffic. Now, we see the debate on whether to upgrade charges against Mr. Romeo. Although the crash occurred in Suffolk County, head prosecutor for vehicular homicides in Nassau County, Maureen McCormick, also commented on the crash, saying investigators are trying to determine if a sober driver could have slowed down in time to prevent the deaths. If the evidence is sufficient, Romeo could be facing charges of vehicular manslaughter even if the limousine driver was contributorily negligent in turning into his path.

As a parent, you never want to see your kids harmed in any way. It is hard to imagine having to go through a loss as heartbreaking as this. The young women were just at the beginning of their lives with bright futures ahead of them. No parent should ever have to bury their child. My deepest condolences go out to all the families and friends of the four deceased women as well as the girls who survived the tragic accident and are now having to come to terms with four of their closest friends being gone all at once.

There is a fine line between having one drink and one too many. Most people are unaware that even if you are under a .08, which is the legal limit in New York, you can still be charged with a lesser criminal offense of driving while impaired. There are many of variables involved when determining a person’s blood-alcohol level, such as a person’s height, weight, and drink of choice. When facing the decision of whether to drink and drive, I urge you to remember that your actions can drastically affect the lives of others.

In situations such as these, you need an experienced lawyer. Mr. Cohen has represented numerous clients facing DWI related charges. If you are being charged in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, Nassau or Suffolk County, contact our office at 718-275-5900 or email Here4U @ CohensLawFirm . com for your free consultation.