Driver in alleged DWI cop crash takes the stand
The alleged drunk driver who critically injured a Nassau County police officer took the stand at his trial Wednesday in his own defense.
Raheim Griffin, 28, is accused of hitting Officer Kenneth Baribault?s patrol car last May on the LIE. Baribault is paralyzed on one side and can only communicate minimally. He is still recovering.
Griffin testified Wednesday he was at a nightclub with friends and finished his fourth alcoholic drink around 2:30 the morning of May 18, 2008. Griffin hit officer Baribault's police car about three and one-half hours later, but says he crashed because he had been awake for 24 hours and fell asleep behind the wheel.
During his testimony, Griffin offered several different accounts of the incident. First he said he felt fine and didn't feel intoxicated at all when he got into the car. Ten minutes later, he said that was the first time he had ever gotten behind while intoxicated. After that, he told prosecutors he was not drunk. Griffin did admit he was driving with a suspended license, and said if he could do anything different he would never have gotten in his car.
The accused drunken driver also apologized to Baribault and his family during his testimony on the stand.