DWI Charges Dropped for Former Staten Island Borough President Candidate
GRANITEVILLE — Drunken-driving charges against former borough president candidate Richard Luthmann were dropped by prosecutors after the solitary witness to the crash refused to cooperate, prosecutors said.
Even though police found that Luthman, 33, allegedly had a blood alcohol content twice the legal limit after his 1994 Lincoln crashed into a guardrail in September, prosecutors said they couldn't prove that he was behind the wheel without the aid of the witness. The Staten Island Advance originally reported the development.
"In order to sustain our burden of proof, we needed the assistance of a civilian witness who initially told police that he saw the defendant behind the wheel at the time the vehicle crashed into the guardrail," a spokesman for the district attorney said.
"Since we were unable to gain the witness’ cooperation, and [were] therefore unable to sustain our burden of proof, we were forced to dismiss the case.”
On Sept. 14, court documents said, a witness saw Luthmann, a lawyer, driving south on Fahy Avenue when he lost control of his car, swerved and crashed into the guardrail around 3:30 a.m.
Prosecutors said Luthmann fled the car and police arrested him on the corner of Fahy Avenue and Lamberts Lane. They found his blood alcohol content was .183, over twice the legal limit of .08 percent, according to court documents.
At his arraignment, Luthmann was charged with aggravated driving while intoxicated and two counts of driving while intoxicated.
Luthmann's lawyer, Mario Gallucci, could not be immediately reached for comment.
Luthmann tried to get on the Democratic ballot for the primary, but eventually dropped out after failing to overturn the BOE's decision in several courts.