Misdemeanor level impaired driving offenses are generally prosecuted in the local courts by prosecutors assigned to the Buffalo City Court and Justice Courts Bureaus. Prosecutors and support staff assigned to the Vehicular Crimes Bureau investigate and prosecute felony charges of Driving While Intoxicated, Driving While Ability Impaired by Drugs, and Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle. The Vehicular Crimes Bureau handles most Vehicular Assaults, Vehicular Manslaughters and Leaving the Scene of Accident(s) Involving Death or Serious Physical Injury. Approximately 600 vehicular felonies are prosecuted annually.
Most of the offenses prosecuted by the Vehicular Crimes Bureau occur during the late night or early morning hours. It is critical that the initial investigation is conducted both quickly and correctly, lest critical evidence be lost (e.g. vehicles being moved to permit the flow of traffic, the passage of time which permits the suspect’s blood alcohol content to diminish, etc.) Accordingly, the Bureau Chief, in addition to her caseload and supervisory duties, is also on call 24 hours per day, seven days per week. She typically advises investigators shortly after an incident occurs. She will assist them with obtaining warrants for evidence (e.g. the suspect’s blood, text messages, etc.) as well as assuring that accident reconstruction is completed before vehicles are moved.