Niskayuna Town Board member and Democratic candidate John Della Ratta will not appear in court for a driving while intoxicated charge until after this year’s election.
Della Ratta was scheduled to appear Thursday afternoon in Clifton Park Town Court after he was arrested just after 7 p.m. on Sept. 27 on Route 146 by Saratoga County sheriff’s deputies.
He was charged with misdemeanor DWI. He also was cited with traffic infractions for allegedly refusing to take a breath test, moving from a lane unsafely and improper use or no use of a signal.
Della Ratta’s next court date is scheduled for Nov. 17, said a Clifton Park Town Court clerk.
Della Ratta said he has hired Patrick Campion of the law firm Gerstenzang, Sills, Cohn & Gerstenzang in Albany to represent him. The law firm deals with criminal cases, with the majority being DWI cases, according to the firm’s website.
Campion used to work as an assistant district attorney in Saratoga County.
“During his tenure as a prosecutor he became the Bureau Chief of Vehicular Crimes, supervising the unit of attorneys in the office specializing in the prosecution of felony and misdemeanor DWI cases as well as vehicular crimes involving serious physical injury or death,” states the firm’s website.
Campion also helped implement training for law enforcement related to impaired driving, according to the website.
“Any further comment would be from him,” Della Ratta said Thursday.
Della Ratta had previously apologized for the arrest but noted he took a breath test and had a blood-alcohol level of 0.06%. Documents show a breath analysis was administered just over an hour after the stop.
Drivers in New York state with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 or higher may be charged with misdemeanor driving while intoxicated. A lower charge of driving while ability impaired by alcohol, classified as an infraction, can be filed based on a blood alcohol content of 0.05 to 0.07 percent.
Della Ratta was first elected to the Niskayuna Town Board in 2013. He is currently running for a third term in November’s election. He also works part-time for the Schenectady County Public Defender’s Office.