The state Superior Court upheld the drunken-driving sentence for a New York man convicted by a Luzerne County judge in an alcohol-related crash in Plains Township.
Jason Daniel Quigley, 32, of Pleasant Valley, challenged the 90-day home confinement sentence, claiming township police could not positively confirm he was unsafely driving the vehicle that crashed down an embankment near the Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs casino on state Route 315 on March 7, 2012.
Police said they found Quigley in the driver’ seat of a Toyota Corolla that was down the embankment. Quigley was bleeding from his head and the car’s air bags were deployed, according to the criminal complaint.
Police said Quigley had a strong odor of alcohol and displayed glossy eyes and slurred speech, the complaint says.
Police said in the complaint that Quigley refused to submit to a blood test to determine an alcohol level in his blood stream.
Senior Judge Joseph Augello convicted Quigley of driving under the influence of alcohol in a non-jury trial on Dec. 10, 2012. He was sentenced to 90 days house arrest with electronic monitoring, fined $1,500 and ordered to attend alcohol highway safety school.
Quigley appealed his sentence, stating prosecutors were unable to establish that he was incapable of safely driving a vehicle. He claimed in his appeal that he never admitted to police that he consumed alcohol, police did not witness the crash and police were unable to determine when the crash occurred.
The appellate court in a recent ruling determined circumstantial evidence presented during the bench trial was sufficient to support the conviction finding that Quigley was in the driver’s seat of a car that crashed and two experienced police officers testified they noticed classic signs of alcohol impairment.