Helton pleads guilty to DWAI

Nicholas Helton

Nicholas Helton

After driving erratically while high, Nicholas Helton, 34, pleaded guilty to driving while ability impaired by drugs, according to a release from the Albany County District Attorney’s Office.

He made the plea before Judge Peter A. Lynch in Albany County Court on July 20.

According to the release, events unfolded this way on June 30: At about 10:27 p.m., Helton was driving north from the Indian/Dutch Roadway on the University at Albany campus when he passed two “Do Not Enter” signs, then drove onto a sidewalk connecting to Indian Drive.

When he was pulled over by UAlbany Police, he admitted to smoking marijuana earlier that day. He showed signs of impairment and failed field-sobriety tests. Helton had 2 grams of marijuana and was driving without an ignition interlock device, despite knowing that his license was revoked as a result of a May 2018 felony conviction for driving while intoxicated for which he was serving an active term of probation.

When he is sentenced on Aug. 17, Helton faces one-and-a-third to four years in state prison. He will additionally be sentenced to a concurrent term for a violation of probation and also faces a concurrent sentence for driving without an interlock device.

He also faces $2,000 in fines and surcharges, a driver’s license revocation for a minimum of 18 months subject to Department of Motor Vehicles guidelines, and mandatory installation of an interlock device for three years upon release from custody.

Vehicular Crimes Unit Bureau Chief Mary Tanner-Richter is prosecuting this case.

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