District Attorney

Posted on: June 4, 2015

Drunk Driver Sentenced After Pleading Guilty to Top Count of Manslaughter 2 for Killing Passenger

Brian Friedrichs, 23, of Levittown, was traveling at 120 mph on Northern State Parkway before losing control of vehicle MINEOLA, N.Y. – Acting Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced that a Levittown man was sentenced today to prison for killing his 23-year-old passenger while driving drunk at a speed of 120 miles per hour on the Northern State Parkway in July 2014. Brian Friedrichs, 23, was sentenced today to four to 12 years in prison by Nassau County Court of Claims Judge Alan Honorof. Friedrichs pleaded guilty in April to Manslaughter in the 2nd Degree (a C felony) and Driving While Intoxicated (an unclassified misdemeanor). “Once again, a wildly reckless and drunk driver tragically stole the life of his passenger while risking the lives of innocent residents of Nassau County,” Acting DA Singas said. “Friedrichs was drunk and driving 120 mph when he lost control, which should be considered more than simple ‘recklessness’ under the law. Aggravated Vehicular Homicide must be expanded to include gravely risky behavior like this.” Acting DA Singas said that on July 22, 2014, at approximately 4 a.m., a 2012 Mazda 3 operated by Friedrichs with 23-year-old passenger, Christopher Gallina, crashed while traveling westbound on the Northern State Parkway near the Post Avenue exit. Both Friedrichs and Gallina were ejected from the vehicle after it struck a wall on the shoulder and rolled. The highest charge he faced was Manslaughter in the 2nd Degree, a C felony with a sentence range between probation and five to 15 years in prison. If the B felony of Aggravated Vehicular Homicide were expanded, Friedrichs would have faced a possible maximum sentence of 8-1/3 to 25 years in prison. Acting DA Singas’ office is continuing to work with our legislative partners to introduce legislation that adds a new subsection to Aggravated Vehicular Homicide making it a B felony to cause the death of someone while driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs and when the driving is so reckless it creates a grave risk of death to others. The black box contained within the defendant’s vehicle indicated that the vehicle was traveling 120 miles per hour before losing control. Friedrichs was arrested the same day by the New York State Police, with a blood alcohol content of .14%. Under the current law, the defendant would need to have a BAC of .18 or higher to qualify for and Aggravated Vehicular Homicide charge under these facts. The law recognizes excessive blood alcohol but it should also recognize gross recklessness. Assistant District Attorney Michael Bushwack of Acting DA Singas’ Vehicular Crimes Bureau is prosecuting the case. Friedrichs is represented by Alan Schwartz, Esq.

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