Sheriff Thomas J. Dougherty reports the arrest of a Steuben County resident on Driving While Ability Impaired by Drugs and felony Aggravated Unlicensed Operation charges after a motor vehicle crash.
On November 11, 2020 at approximately 3:50 pm, Sheriff’s Deputies responded to Linzy Road for a motor vehicle crash involving two vehicles.
The investigation revealed that a vehicle being operated by Sarah J. King, age 29 from Hornell NY, was backing into the roadway. While doing so, it is alleged King backed into the path of a westbound vehicle and caused the collision. Dansville EMS also responded to the scene to check the occupants of the vehicles, who were treated at the scene and released.
Sheriff’s Deputies suspected that King was under the influence of drugs and Deputy Gordy Truax conducted a DWAI investigation which included the performance of standardized field sobriety tests. At the conclusion of the roadside investigation, King was taken into custody for DWAI Drugs. A records check revealed that King’s driver’s license was suspended a total of twelve (12) times and that she was in possession of a metal pipe commonly used to smoke drugs.
King was then transported to the Sheriff’s Office substation in Lakeville where Deputy Michael Phillips, who is a Certified Drug Recognition Expert (DRE), conducted an evaluation. It was the Deputy’s expert opinion that King was under the influence of a central nervous system stimulant, a narcotic analgesic, and cannabis, and could not operate a vehicle in a safe manner. A urine sample was also collected as part of the investigation and will be sent to a forensic lab for testing.
King was arrested and charged with Driving While Ability Impaired by Drugs, Driving While Ability Impaired by a Combination of Drugs, felony Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle in the 1st Degree, along with violations of the Vehicle and Traffic Law including Operating an Unregistered Motor Vehicle and Operating an Uninsured Motor Vehicle.
King was turned over to Central Booking Deputies at the Livingston County Jail for processing and pre-arraignment detention as the offenses did qualify for pre-arraignment detention under the NYS Justice Reform Act, however, a Judge may not set bail.
King was later arraigned at the Livingston County Centralized Arraignment Part (LC-CAP) at the Livingston County Jail before Town of Ossian Justice Wilson. The Judge did release King on her own recognizance (ROR) as required by law and Deputies did set her free. King was provided a future court date for appearance.
Sergeant Caleb Cutting and Sergeant Chad VanAuken of the Forensic Identification Unit also assisted with the investigation.