New charge for driver with 53 license suspensions

Livingston County Sheriff's Office Photograph Altrike F. Woods

WEST SPARTA – A Rochester man was arrested on Interstate 390 last month after a check of his record showed he was driving with a license that had been revoked on 53 suspensions.

On July 26, Deputy Jerry Pilkenton stopped a vehicle on Interstate 390 for a traffic violation and identified the driver as Altrike F. Woods, 48. Pilkenton ran a check of Woods’ license, which showed it had been revoked on the 53 suspensions.

Woods was arrested and charged with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the first degree, a felony. After his arrest, Woods was turned over to deputies at the Livingston County Jail for processing and released on an appearance ticket. Woods was provided a future date to the answer the charges in the Town of West Sparta Court.

The crime Woods was charged with does not qualify for pre-arraignment detention under New York’s criminal justice reforms, a fact lamented by Sheriff Thomas J. Dougherty.

“This is the new normal in New York State,” said Dougherty in a statement. “We catch them, we release them and we repeat. Instead of trying to change behaviors and actions through education and consequences, Albany lawmakers change the rules to drastically reduce or eliminate such consequences.”

Continued Dougherty: “In this case there is no skin in the game for the suspect to return at all. Even more troubling and concerning for public safety, is it’s about to get worse as the rules will again be changing again very soon with the anticipated signature of the Governor as the Senate and Assembly have both passed a new law stating a Judge can no longer suspend a license for failing to pay a fine for a traffic ticket or for failing to appear in court for traffic ticket. Also, it will be retroactive to reinstate all those who have previously had their licenses suspended for such conduct. Welcome to the new New York; the law abiding citizen has been forgotten and their safety disregarded with the decriminalization of everything from traffic tickets to violent crimes.”

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