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A 67-year-old man lost his life recently while walking up Staten Island's Lily Pond Avenue in a bicycle lane near the Fort Wadsworth boundary. The 39-year-old Lexus driver who struck him was arrested for DWI after hitting the senior citizen from behind. The fatal accident occurred on a Sunday a few minutes before 7 p.m.

The victim was taken to Staten Island University Hospital and pronounced dead.

Police did not indicate how it was determined that the Staten Island man behind the wheel was intoxicated. New York laws deem drivers 21 and over with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or greater to be intoxicated.

New York City police and city officials have focused on pedestrian deaths due to impaired, speeding and distracted drivers in recent weeks. New York Mayor Bill DeBlasio launched Vision Zero as a combined effort to combat the preventable problem of pedestrians being killed or maimed by drivers within the boroughs of New York City. As a result of this initiative, police are instructed to crack down on offenders, and some intersections are now monitored by traffic cams that capture footage of incidents involving speeders and alleged drunken drivers to insure prosecution by the courts.

If you are accused of driving while intoxicated and another driver or pedestrian is killed or hurt, you have much to lose, the greatest being your freedom if you are found guilty and imprisoned. You may also have to forfeit the right to drive, and your insurance rates will skyrocket if you are permitted to keep your driver's license.

Never go into court unrepresented. A seasoned attorney who is familiar with New York criminal and traffic laws is necessary to protect your rights and freedoms. Exercise your right to counsel before making any statements to responding officers to prevent your words at the scene from later coming back to haunt you.

Source: nytimes.com, "Staten Island Man Struck and Killed by Car; Driver Charged with Drunk Driving" Ashley Southall, Jan. 27, 2014

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