CANTON - St. Lawrence County District Attorney Mary Rain released the following statement on Thursday concerning the office’s new DWI policy:
Over the course of thirty years in the criminal justice system I have worked with many victims of crimes. This has affected me both professionally and personally. Thirty years ago, when I became a police officer, my very first act after receiving my uniform was attending my partner’s funeral. Officer Robert “Rob” Parkhurst was killed in a head-on crash with a drunk driver. I have seen firsthand the devastation this drunk driver caused the Parkhurst family.
Unfortunately, this type of life altering event continues today. Since the first of the year the District Attorney’s Office of St. Lawrence County has handled four homicides caused by drunk or drugged drivers. Four families have lost loved ones whose deaths were entirely preventable.
Even when a victim survives a drunk or drugged driver the physical injuries sustained provide not only pain and suffering but emotional distress, financial hardships and loss of careers.
Death and injuries decrease when DWI laws are strictly enforced. Due to the many deaths and physical injuries from drunk and drugged drivers in this county, the District Attorney’s Office is taking a hard stance on arrests for DWI and DWAI Drugs. This epidemic is not caused by the person who has alcohol or drug addictions, it is caused by a choice to get behind the wheel of a vehicle.
To honor the memory of my friend, Robert Parkhurst, I am creating “Rob’s Policy.” There will be no reductions for anyone who has a blood alcohol content greater than .10 % BAC, felonies or Leandra Law arrests. First time offenders whose BAC is .10% or less have an opportunity for reductions after completion of alcohol and/or drug treatment.
Rob’s Policy will provide a strong message of severe consequences to ones liberty, license or finances. It is my hope that people who chose to become intoxicated will also chose not to get behind the wheel of a vehicle. The inconvenience of having a friend or taxi drive them home is fleeting compared to the consequences to other innocent drivers in their path.