A high-flying hedge fund manager known for his successful investments found himself behind bars on Aug. 13 after being involved in an early morning car accident in New York. The 35-year-old man has been charged with drug possession and suspicion of driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. He was also cited for speeding and making an improper lane change.
According to police in Suffolk County, the man was traveling on a remote section of Montauk Highway near Amagansett in the exclusive Hamptons area at about 3:00 a.m. when his BMW convertible struck an oncoming Ford Explorer SUV. The woman behind the wheel of the SUV suffered injuries in the collision, but initial reports did not indicate how badly she had been hurt. Both drivers are said to have told responding police officers that it was the other vehicle that had crossed the center line and strayed into the path of oncoming traffic.
Police soon deduced that the man had been impaired at the time of the crash, but media reports did not contain details about what may have led officers to come to this conclusion. Reports also failed to describe how police discovered a quantity of what is believed to be cocaine in the man's possession. Officers say that the man refused to submit to a breath test at the scene, and a justice in East Hampton revoked his driving privileges later in the morning before setting his bail at $1,000.
Motorists in New York sometimes refuse to take breath tests when facing possible drunk driving charges because they believe that denying prosecutors this valuable evidence is in their best interests. However, this tactic may not bear fruit because police generally have little trouble securing search warrants to draw blood in these situations. Refusing to submit to a toxicology test could also lead to driving privileges being lost for a year or more. Taking a belligerent attitude with law enforcement could make it difficult for criminal defense attorneys to negotiate more lenient treatment during plea discussions.