42 year old woman had 2 year old child in vehicle
Sheriff Dougherty takes issue with “catch and release” bail reform
LIMA – Sheriff Thomas J. Dougherty reports the arrest of a Wayland resident on felony DWI charges following a traffic stop.
On May 26th, 2022 at approximately 3:12pm, Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the area of Rochester Street in the Village of Lima for multiple civilian calls reporting a vehicle that was all over the road. Sheriff’s Investigator Connor Sanford and Sergeant James Merrick located the reported vehicle traveling northbound on Rochester Road, in the township, and did conduct a traffic stop with the vehicle after observing a violation of the NYS Vehicle and Traffic Law.
The operator of the vehicle was identified as Jessica A. Feely, age 42 from Wayland, NY. During the roadside encounter, it was suspected that Feely was impaired at which point Deputy Justin Hilt, who is assigned to the Sheriff’s Office STOP DWI Unit, responded to the scene. Deputy Hilt did conduct a Driving While Ability Impaired by Drugs investigation which included the performance of standardized field sobriety tests. At the conclusion of the roadside investigation, Feely was taken into custody for DWAI Drugs.
Feely was then transported to the Sheriff’s Office sub-station in Lakeville where Deputy Jeff Faugh, a certified Drug Recognition Expert (DRE), conducted a drug evaluation. It was the Deputy’s expert opinion that Feely was under the influence of a Narcotic Analgesic and a CNS Stimulant and that she could not operate a motor vehicle in a safe manner.
Feely did provide a urine sample which will be sent to a forensic lab for testing.
During the investigation, it was also discovered that Feely did have a two year old passenger in the vehicle.
Feely was arrested and charged with felony Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated (Leandra’s Law), Driving While Ability Impaired by Drugs, Driving While Ability Impaired by Drugs (combination of drugs), Endangering the Welfare of a Child, as well as additional Violations of the NYS Vehicle and Traffic Law.
Feely was transported and turned over to Central Booking Deputies at the Livingston County Jail for processing and pre-arraignment detention. The offenses did qualify for arraignment however, the Judge cannot set bail under the NYS Justice Reform Act.
Feely was later arraigned at the Livingston County Centralized Arraignment Part (LC-CAP) at the Livingston County Jail before Lima Town Justice Schwing. The Judge did release Feely on her own recognizance per the law to return to court at a later date and Deputies did set her free.
The Livingston County Public Defender’s Office was present and represented Feely at the court arraignment for her defense. The Livingston County District Attorney’s Office was notified but did not appear to represent the people.
“The fact that you can be accused of driving drugged with a two-year-old in a vehicle and an elected Judge in New York State has no discretion to remand the accused to jail or release back to the streets due to bail reform, continues to baffle me as Sheriff,” stated Sheriff Dougherty. “We must not let this become the new norm and we must continue to shine light on how dangerous these catch and release policies are. There is more accountability and consequence from the state in not paying your toll on the New York State thruway then there is not showing back up to court on criminal matters affecting public safety. To those who have asked me to stop talking about it and let it go as settled law; not a chance.”