Northern New York Newspapers
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Sun., Oct. 4
Serving the communities of Jefferson, St. Lawrence and Lewis counties, New York
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Two referred to Jefferson County Drug Court for alcohol offenses


Two men were referred to Jefferson County Drug Court after pleading guilty in County Court to alcohol-related driving offenses.

Jason A. Guinup, 33, of 24929 Route 126, pleaded guilty to felony driving while intoxicated and reckless driving. He admitted that he operated an all-terrain vehicle while intoxicated Sept. 24 on Route 11 in the town of Antwerp. He also admitted that he endangered others and property by evading police during a traffic stop and driving the ATV through a field.

If he successfully completes Drug Court, a substance abuse rehabilitation program designed to serve as an alternative to incarceration, his guilty plea to reckless driving be withdrawn and the charge dismissed. The felony DWI charge will be reduced to a lower level felony count. He then would be sentenced to five years’ probation and a $1,000 fine. He also would have his driver’s license revoked and be ordered to install an ignition interlock device on any vehicle he owns or operates. He further will be given the choice of serving 10 days in the Metro-Jefferson Public Safety Building or performing 60 days of community service.

If he is unsuccessful, each conviction remains unchanged and he faces a 1- to four-year term in state prison and a $3,500 fine. His driver’s license also would be revoked and he would be subject to the interlock provision.

Vernon R. Fitchette, 25, of 37389 Bald Rock Road, Clayton, pleaded guilty to felony DWI and first-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle. He admitted driving while intoxicated Aug. 1 on Lover’s Lane in the town of Clayton while his driver’s license was revoked.

If he successfully completes Drug Court, both guilty pleas will be withdrawn and he will be allowed to plead to both charges as misdemeanors. He then would be sentenced to three years’ probation and a $1,000 fine, have his driver’s license revoked and be subject to the interlock provision. If he is unsuccessful, he faces a one- to three-year prison sentence, a $3,500 fine, license revocation and the interlock provision.

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