Yesterday, the AP reported that an off-duty cop was arrested for DWI in Queens—and now there are details. According to charges, the Post reports that veteran detective James O'Connell "was busted...for drunken driving after he smashed into a tollbooth at the Midtown Tunnel in Queens...[He] was allegedly driving home from a holiday party when he smacked into the lane’s gate arm at the toll plaza around 2 a.m."
The holiday party—"with colleagues"— was held in Great Neck. The Daily News adds, "Officer David Plavnick of the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority said in court papers that he heard screeching tires just after 2 a.m. and that when O'Connell, 39, came to a stop, he had bloodshot, watery eyes, slurred speech, reeked of booze and couldn't walk straight." O'Connell's blood alcohol was 0.172—more than twice the legal limit. The Detectives Endowment Association's Michael Palladino said O'Connell was a "hard-working detective."
In the past few months, two other off-duty police officers have been involved with fatal DWI's—in October, an off-duty detective struck and killed an elderly woman in the Bronx while an off-duty cop struck and killed a Brooklyn woman in September.