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June 13, 2017 - 10:23pm

Driver in crash on Veterans Memorial Drive charged with DWAI-Drugs

posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news.

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Brandon M. Seppe, a resident of Batavia, has been charged with driving while ability impaired by drugs following a single-vehicle accident on Veterans Memorial Drive at 2:08 p.m., today.

Seppe's passenger, Gregory Seppe, 59, of Batavia, was transported to Strong Memorial Hospital by Mercy EMS.

A Sheriff's press release says Brandon was westbound on Veterans Memorial Drive when he allegedly moved from the lane unsafely. He failed to maintain control of his vehicle and struck a large utility pole, causing a widespread power outage.

The vehicle came to rest on the passenger side.

The accident was investigated by Deputy Andrew Hale, Deputy Matthew Butler, and Deputy Chris Erion. Assisting at the scene were Town of Batavia fire, Mercy EMS, Batavia PD, and State Police.

(Initial report)

Brian Graz
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Prescription drugs, or illegal street drugs?

Tim Miller
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Does it matter if they were prescription or illegal street drugs? I guess as far as possible additional charges are concerned, it might. However, the driver got behind the wheel of a 3,500-4,000 lb missile after taking drugs that could affect their ability to control that missile.

If they were prescription drugs, warnings would have been plastered all over the bottle warning about driving/operating heavy machinery (barring an allergic or bizarre reaction to an otherwise "safe" drug).

tom hunt
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The biggest losers in this accident are the countless businesses and banks that lost revenue from the power loss and the fact that Veterans Parkway was shut down for most of the afternoon and early evening.

Frank Bartholomew
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Tim,it does matter,people who live on pain killers for pain control drive every day,unless you are saying they shouldn't have that right because of an injury or a chronic condition that require narcotic class drugs for pain control.

Ed Hartgrove
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Actually, Frank, as far as the "state" is concerned, it doesn't matter whether you have a legal prescription for the drug, or not. And, it isn't limited to "pain killers", or, narcotics.

Read the following two paragraphs, from http://dui.drivinglaws.org/resources/new-yorks-drugged-driving-law.htm

" New York’s drugged driving law prohibits driving while impaired by any of the “drugs” or “controlled substances” that are listed in Section 3306 of the New York Public Health Law. Section 3306 contains an exhaustive list of drugs and controlled substances that includes numerous opiates, hallucinogens, depressants, and stimulants."
" It’s not an acceptable defense to a drugged driving charge to claim that the driver was legally entitled to use the drug or controlled substance. In other words, a doctor’s prescription won’t shield a driver from a DWAI, and that includes medical marijuana users."

A full list of those drugs can be found at http://law.onecle.com/new-york/public-health/PBH03306_3306.html

So, you see, it doesn't matter if the drugs are prescribed, or, "needed". The only thing that the state needs to prove is that you were DWAI (driving while ability impaired), and, had one or more of those drugs in your system.

Here's the "bright side", if there is one: At least you're not in Georgia. Down there, people are being arrested for DUI, simply on the word of their so-called "Drug Recognition Experts" (DRE's).

Watch the video of 3 different people who were arrested and charged for "driving while drugged" in Georgia, at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gWyzPpYslYc

People who had NO drugs in their system. People who ended up spending thousands of dollars of their own money, proving their innocence. People who lost their livelihood, when they weren't guilty of anything, except, being stopped by a so-called Drug Recognition Expert.
A Georgia TV station (11alive) did several segments on this very subject.

NOTE: Genesee County also has (at least) one so-called DRE. His "graduation" from the DRE course can be viewed on YouTube.

Tim Miller
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Frank - I know it seems heartless, but if a person is on a pain killer to control pain due to a debilitating injury or illness, and that pain killer harms their ability to drive safely, then that person should not be driving. Period.

When a person gets behind the wheel of a vehicle, they become responsible for having control of that vehicle. If they are under the influence, then they should not drive. Folks who have deteriorating vision issues which affect their ability to drive should not drive. What is the difference between that and a person under the influence of a debilitating prescription medicine?

There are (or in the case of WNY, will soon be) options available to get around - Uber, Lyft, taxis, buses, etc. Are any of those as convenient as hopping in your car? Nope. However, none are as irresponsible as accelerating a 2,500+ pound device in public without the ability to control it, and bringing danger to others.

Frank Bartholomew
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Ed,Tim,I fully understand what you are saying regarding the law,what I'm saying is the law is a joke,just another pet peeve to make people think they are safer,when in reality its just another way for NYS to steal money from honest hard working people.I know a person who uses very heavy pain killers,and driving a car would be childs play in comparison to what the person does for a living.I sure as hell wouldn't call this person irresponsible,the work the person does has life and death implications,should the person be made to quit the job because a Dr. prescribed medication that allows this person to continue working without having to focus on constant pain,I would rather be on the road with someone who takes the meds,rather than a person distracted with pain and discomfort,and focusing on that rather than the road,just my opinion guys,not trying to pick a fight or ruffle anyones feathers,

Tim Miller
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Frank - I think we are just gonna have to agree to disagree on this one. ;-)

(that smiley face means absolutely no feathers ruffled)

Frank Bartholomew
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Absolutly Tim, I'm just one of those who is of the opinion that more laws = more criminals.
Who said crime doesn't pay?

david spaulding
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I feel most laws start in the nanny state of NY and spread like a cancer to the rest of the country when it discovers there is money to be made off the fines for offenders...

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