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Former Williamsville deputy mayor pleads guilty to DWI charge

Christopher J. Duquin, who took a leave as deputy mayor in Williamsville, on Tuesday took full responsibility for driving drunk at around 2 a.m. Sept. 17, when his vehicle struck a parked car in the village and left a trail of fluid away from the scene.

Duquin pleaded guilty Tuesday in Clarence Town Court to a misdemeanor DWI charge, the most serious charge he faced.

The case was moved to Clarence because Duquin's elected position created a conflict with the Williamsville village court.

Town Justice Michael B. Powers spared Duquin jail time for his first arrest and gave him a conditional discharge. Powers revoked Duquin's license for six months, issued $1,343 in fines and surcharges, required an ignition interlock device on any vehicle Duquin drives for one year and required him to attend a victim impact panel.

Powers admonished Duquin, who also has an ownership stake in Stevens Driving School but has not had a role in the company's day-to-day operations since his arrest.

"You are a very fortunate man in a number of respects," he told Duquin. "One, you didn't kill anyone, including yourself, and you didn't hurt anyone. So a word to the wise on that, this could've been a lot different."

Powers noted that DWI is "not a victimless crime and it's not a non-violent crime. There's tens of thousands of people killed every year. You were fortunate enough not to be one of those statistics."

Duquin also pleaded guilty to a charge of moving from a lane unsafely. A charge of leaving the scene of a property damage accident was dismissed.

Duquin declined comment as he left court.

Earlier, outside the courtroom, he apologized to the Amherst police officers who arrested him for his "unacceptable behavior."

"He extended a heartfelt apology to all the officers involved that night," said his attorney, Peter J. Todoro, who noted Duquin is enrolled in a treatment program and is working with youth in the Kids Escaping Drugs program.

Duquin was granted an indefinite leave of absence from his village office on Sept. 26. He was first elected to the Village Board in 2011. His seat is up for election in June.

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