When you first get your driver license do you really give much thought to what that means? I didn't and even now I don't think much about it. However, those of us with a license are allowed to get behind the wheel of a 4,000 pound piece of machinery and, as we hit the gas, off we go whizzing down the road.

Sometimes us drivers get distracted, fall asleep, drive while intoxicated and the next thing you know you and your car are floating in a trout stream somewhere in the Hudson Valley.

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Last month, New York State DEC Officers responded to a call from the Ulster County Sheriff's Department regarding a vehicle in a trout stream. How does this happen? Clearly the driver lost control of the vehicle one way or another.

Upon arrival at the scene in Kingston, and after some investigation, it appears the driver of the car lost control of his vehicle when he sideswiped a home near Sawkill Creek. That didn't stop him as he continued to drive. The suspect thought he was still on the road but he was actually headed down a steep embankment.

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Environmental Conservation Officers concluded that, after hitting the house and continuing to drive down the embankment, the vehicle splashed into a protected trout stream and continued along for another 200 yards before hitting a rock and coming to a stop.

Officers arrested the driver on suspicion of driving while intoxicated. The suspect was also issued tickets for:

  • Disturbing the bed and banks of a protected stream
  • Polluting the water in contravention of standards
  • Disposing of refuse in a trout stream

Don't drive under the influence. Bad things can happen when you choose to drive while intoxicated. The decision alone shows that your judgment is impaired. Next thing you know your car could be sitting in a trout stream somewhere in the Hudson Valley.

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