WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. - A 44-year-old man from Ossining was arrested by police in Scarsdale on suspicions of drinking and driving after being tracked down by a taxi driver and refusing to take multiple breathalyzer tests.
Shortly before 4:30 a.m. on Friday, June 16, Jose Zhingri was stopped by patrol officers near the intersection of Post Road and Huntington Avenue. As officers left their vehicle, a taxi pulled up and told the responding officers that he had been trying to get Zhingri to stop after nearly striking his taxi in White Plains, because he feared he was intoxicated.
Police said that while speaking with the taxi operator, officers saw the driver of the vehicle sliding from the driver’s seat and into the passenger’s seat - a move which was captured by a mobile-vision camera.
According to police, as they approached the Acura, there were two occupants in the passenger’s seat, with Zhingri attempting to shove a female into the driver’s seat, who was resisting. Zhingri proceeded to push the woman into the driver’s seat, stating to officers that “she was driving.” When asked if she spoke English, the woman shook her head to signal “no."
Zhingri repeated that “she was driving, I wasn’t driving,” and when police asked the woman to step out of the car, officers reported that she was unsteady on her feet and could not stand. When asked to move to the rear of the vehicle, she was unable to.
Officers proceeded to speak with Zhingri, whose eyes were reportedly glassy and bloodshot and whose speech was slurred. He too said he did not speak English, only Spanish. Zhingri stated that they had not been drinking initially, before admitting to drinking at El Miski in White Plains. He reasserted to officers that he had not been driving, and proceeded to stop speaking to law enforcement.
A Spanish-speaking officer was called to the scene to help facilitate the language barrier and Zhingri proceeded to fail multiple Field Sobriety Tests, often confusing the instructions being relayed to him.
As responding officers were preparing an also-sensor pre-screening test for Zhingri, he told police he would not submit to a breath test. Zhingri was subsequently arrested and at Scarsdale Police Headquarters, he refused to submit to a data master test three times to determine his blood alcohol content.
Zhingri was charged with a misdemeanor count of driving while intoxicated and cited for refusing to take a breath test and an equipment violation on his Acura. He was released on $250 bail and his car was impounded. He is due back in court later this year.
Zhingri’s passenger refused to provide patrol with any identifying information and would not answer officers’ questions. It was determined that she was too intoxicated to care for herself and she was transported to White Plains Hospital voluntarily for monitoring.