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Legalities of Dennis Drue's arraignment

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Albany/HV: Legalities of Dennis Drue's arraignment
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The number of charges Drue is facing is prompting a lot of questions. Our Erin Vannella, with the help our legal expert, Paul DerOhannesian, shares a few answers.

SARATOGA COUNTY, N.Y. -- "The most serious charge in this case is an aggravated vehicular manslaughter for which there is a 25 year punishment," said legal expert Paul DerOhannesian.

It constitutes several of the 59 counts assigned to Dennis Drue, the driver accused of causing the fatal accident that killed two Clifton Park teens and seriously injured two others.

As legal expert Paul DerOhannesian explains, there are so many because there are different ways he could be found guilty of driving while intoxicated.

"These charges are based on a combination of both alcohol and marijuana in the defendant's system and that impaired his system," said DerOhannesian. "That's sufficient to establish an intoxication charge and the more serious crimes that are involved when people get injured or killed as in this case."

An intoxication charge could be assigned without blood alcohol showing intoxication because of what's called Common Law DWI.

"It's based on the observations of the police officer, how your vehicle was operated, that you smelled of alcohol, blood shot eyes," said DerOhannesian. "Without a machine, you can establish that someone was intoxicated."

DerOhannesian says expert testimony will be very important should this go to trial. As Drue pleaded not guilty to all 59 counts, the prosecution will try a variety of theories should one or more not gain quantitative support.

Full interview with legal expert Paul DerOhannessian


Albany/HV: Legalities of Dennis Drue's arraignment
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