An Erie County man is facing felony driving while intoxicated charges under Leandra’s Law and other charges after being stopped on Interstate 390 this month while traveling with two children who had a court-issued order of protection against him, reports the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office.
Samuel P. Dean, 28, of Buffalo, was charged Sept. 23 with two counts of felony aggravated DWI with a child less than 15 years old in the vehicle (Leandra’s Law), driving while intoxicated, two counts of endangering the welfare of a child, two counts of second-degree criminal contempt, third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle and violations of state Vehicle and Traffic Law.
The investigation began Sept. 6 when Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to Interstate 390 about 7:20 p.m. following a civilian’s report of an erratic driver. Deputy Michael Donals, who is assigned to the Sheriff’s Office STOP DWI Unit, located the vehicle in question traveling northbound on the interstate and initiated a traffic stop, the Sheriff’s Office said.
The deputy suspected that Dean was under the influence of alcohol and conducted a DWI investigation which included the performance of field sobriety tests. At the conclusion of the roadside DWI investigation, Dean was taken into custody for DWI, the Sheriff’s Office said.
Further investigation at the scene revealed that there were two children, ages 5 and 7, in the vehicle. Deputies discovered that Dean had a court issued order of protection against him, ordering him to stay away from the two children. A records check also revealed that Dean’s driver’s license had been suspended for failure to pay driver responsibility assessment, the Sheriff’s Office said.
The driver responsibility assessment is a fee assed over a three-year period on individuals convicted of certain traffic offenses, including drunk or drugged driving, refusing to take a chemical test for blood alcohol content, or accumulating six or more points on their state driver record in an 18-month period, according to the state Department of Motor Vehicles.
The children were turned over to a responsible adult. Dean was offered the opportunity to take a breathalyzer to test his blood alcohol content, but he refused to take one, the Sheriff’s Office said.
While Dean was in the back seat of the Sheriff’s Office patrol vehicle, he became unruly and combative. EMS was requested to check on Dean, and he was ultimately transported to Strong Memorial Hospital, Rochester, the Sheriff’s Office said.
The investigation remains open regarding how the children were allowed to be in the custody of Dean when the court had ordered him to stay away, the Sheriff’s Office said.
Following his Sept. 23 arrest, Dean was turned over to Central Booking deputies at Livingston County Jail for processing and pre-arraignment detention as the offenses did qualify for pre-arraignment detention under the state Justice Reform Act. A judge may not set bail or hold a defendant on felony DWI under the state’s new bail reform laws.
Dean was later arraigned at Livingston County Centralized Arraignment Part at Livingston County Jail before Town of Mount Morris Justice David Provo, who released Dean on his own recognizance in accordance with bail reform.
Dean was provided a future court date.
Sheriff’s Deputy Jerry Pilkenton and Sheriff’s Investigator Gene Chichester assisted with the investigation.
“New York State bail reform is a complete disaster and leaves the law abiding citizen vulnerable,” Livingston County Sheriff Thomas J. Dougherty. “A person who takes no lawful order serious, and endangers not only the motoring public around him by allegedly driving drunk on a suspended driver’s license but also puts two young kids in the vehicle of whom a court has ordered him to stay away from, simply arraigned and released to hopefully appear at a future court date.”