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Sheriff Thomas J. Dougherty reports the arrest of a Conesus NY resident on felony charges after a traffic stop.
On December 5, 2020 at approximately 7:20 pm Deputy Michael Donals, who was assigned to the Sheriff’s Office STOP DWI unit, stopped a vehicle on East Avon Lima Road for a violation of the NYS Vehicle and Traffic Law.
The operator of the vehicle was identified as 31 year old Benjamin W. Smith. The Deputy Sheriff suspected that Smith was under the influence of drugs and initiated a DWAI investigation which included the performance of standardized field sobriety tests. The Deputy Sheriff also found that Smith had suspected marijuana in his vehicle.
At the conclusion of the roadside investigation, Smith was taken into custody for Driving While Ability Impaired by Drugs.
A records check revealed that Smith’s driver’s license was suspended a total of four (4) times for failure to answer a summons and failure to pay a fine.
Smith was then transported to the Sheriff’s Office Headquarters where Deputy Michael Phillips, who is a Certified Drug Recognition Expert (DRE), conducted a drug evaluation. It was the Deputy’s expert opinion that Smith was under the influence of Cannabis and CNS Depressants, and that he could not operate a vehicle in a safe manner. A urine sample was collected as part of the evaluation and will be sent to a forensic lab for testing.
Smith was arrested and charged with felony Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle in the First Degree, Driving While Ability Impaired by Drugs, and Driving While Ability Impaired by a Combination of Drugs. The AUO charge was a felony due to the previous suspensions of Smith’s NYS driver’s license and this arrest being DWAI related.
Smith was turned over to Central Booking Deputies at the Livingston County Jail for processing and released on appearance tickets as the offenses did not qualify for pre-arraignment detention under
the NYS Justice Reform Act. As a result, Deputies did set him free and Smith was provided a future court date in the Town of Avon Court to answer the charges.
Sergeant Scott Patterson and Deputy Jerry Pilkenton also assisted with the investigation.