No jail time for St. Lawrence County Legislator who was in head-on crash while intoxicated and allegedly in possession of cocaine
BY JEFF CHUDZINSKI
North Country This Week
BOMBAY — St. Lawrence County Legislator Tony Arquiett is not expected to face jail time following a head-on accident while intoxicated and in possession of cocaine.
Arquiett pleaded guilty to misdemeanor driving while intoxicated, but a felony cocaine possession charge and seventh-degree criminal possession were dropped as part of a plea deal.The accident occurred late on the evening of Dec. 4 on State Hwy. 37 in Franklin County.
Arquiett is alleged to have driven while intoxicated, hitting another vehicle head on and causing minor injuries to the four occupants.
Arquiett, D-Helena, entered his guilty plea on Jan. 11 in Bombay Town Court, according to Ed Narrow, Arquiett’s attorney. Narrow said Arquiett will continue serving on the board of legislators.
The plea deal was also confirmed by acting Franklin County District Attorney Jonathan Miller.
Narrow also confirmed Arquiett will have to complete a victim impact panel and impaired driver program through St. Lawrence County’s special programs.
The impaired driver program is a seven-session program, with each session lasting around two hours, Narrow said.
Arquiett was also recently interviewed by St. Joseph’s Addiction Treatment in Malone, though no course of action has yet been recommended, Miller said.
“The evaluation and analysis hasn’t been completed but he did conduct his interview with St. Joseph’s in Malone,” Narrow confirmed.
Arquiett will also face a six-month revocation of his driver's license with the ability to apply for a conditional license in the future, both Miller and Narrow said.
A conditional license will allow Arquiett to drive to work, to medical appointments and run errands on a very limited basis per week.
An interlock device will also be required on any vehicle Arquiett drives for three years, a DMV requirement for any individual who pleads guilty to DWI, Narrow said.
As part of the plea deal, Arquiett also faces probation, but the length will be based on a recommendation from the Probation Department after conducting research on the case.
“The probationary period can last a maximum of three years, though it is possible the department could recommend a year or even a conditional discharge with no probationary supervision required,” Narrow said.
Acting District Attorney Miller said the plea deal is consistent with his office’s normal practices.
“The offer that Mr. Arquiett received is a typical offer for someone in his situation. He did not receive special treatment and the offer is consistent with our normal practices,” Miller confirmed.
Following news of the incident on Dec. 4, Arquiett faced significant scrutiny from prominent Republicans to resign, including Congresswoman Elise Stefanik.
“I can confirm Mr. Arquiett has no plans of resigning. As for re-election, that is something only he will be able to confirm,” Narrow said.
Arquiett is scheduled to reappear in court on April 5, Narrow confirmed.