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Ballet Director Pleads Guilty to Driving While Impaired

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The director of the New York City Ballet pleaded guilty this Tuesday to driving while his ability was impaired. Peter Martins was arrested on January 1 in the first hours of the new year by Westchester County police near his home in Irvington, New York. The ballet master refused a breath test, and after failing a field sobriety test, was charged with "driving while intoxicated," what's commonly known as a DWI.

On Tuesday, he pleaded guilty to a lesser charge, and was fined $300, according to Nina Azeez, a Yonkers City Court clerk.

"A driver who refuses a breathalyzer test should have their license suspended, even for a first offense," said Alan Gordon, the leader of a ballet dancers' union that has been locked in difficult negotiations with City Ballet over labor contracts. "An insignificantly small fine does nothing to deter future drunk driving."

The ballet company issued a statement saying it was glad the matter had been resolved.