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Drunken driver says new tires contributed to speeding

LOCKPORT – A man whose blood alcohol content was measured at 0.20 percent said Tuesday, as he pleaded guilty to felony driving while intoxicated, that he only downed “one shot of liquor” before getting behind the wheel. His alcohol reading was 2½ times the legal threshold for intoxication.

Emmet Richardson, 54, of Birch Court, Niagara Falls, also blamed new tires on his vehicle for the speeding that provoked police to pull him over Sept. 2 on Witmer Road in the Town of Niagara. “I didn’t know I was going that fast,” Richardson told State Supreme Court Justice Richard C. Kloch Sr.

Richardson at first denied to the judge that the liquor he drank made it unsafe for him to drive, but he abandoned that contention after a short conversation with Assistant Public Defender Michael E. Benedict. Richardson has one prior DWI conviction, from 2010 in Cheektowaga. Acting District Attorney Theodore A. Brenner recommended a six-month limit on any jail time for Richardson, but Kloch made no promises and scheduled sentencing for June 1.