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Lawyer Once Known as 'The DWI Guy' arrested for DWAI

Tom Anelli (CNYCentral file photo)

Syracuse attorney Tom Anelli, who for years advertised heavily on radio airwaves as being “The DWI Guy,” was taken into custody by State Police Friday evening in Liverpool.

Troopers tell CNYCentral, a woman who had been a passenger in Anelli’s vehicle reported they got into a verbal argument and she left the vehicle and was walking along Tulip Street in Liverpool at about 9:30 p.m.

When a Trooper arrived on the scene, authorities say Anelli came back to the area, driving his vehicle. As a trooper started to assess what was going on the Trooper smelled alcohol on Anelli’s breath.

Sgt. Jack Keller says Anelli refused to submit to a field sobriety test and was taken to a trooper barracks.

A test later performed by state police indicated Anelli’s blood alcohol content was .06 and he was given a ticket for Driving While Ability Impaired - which amounts to a traffic ticket according to State Police.

Anelli is due in Liverpool Village court on Oct. 2 to face the charge.

When reached Saturday, Anelli declined to comment at this time.

Anelli is no longer associated with “The DWI Guy” branding that he once touted in radio ads when he was with the Anelli Xavier Law Firm. Sean Kelsey, the Chief Operating Officer of “The DWI Guy” firm, contacted CNY Central after this report was first published to clarify that the disassociation occurred in 2016 and that his firm has carried on representation of those accused of alcohol and drug related offenses.

“For too long it (‘The DWI Guy’ name) was a guy behind the desk focused more on marketing than the law,” Kelsey stated in a press release Saturday evening. “Those days are over because we don’t want the DWI GUY brand to be known solely for its marketing, but to be recognized for higher level of customer service and results.”

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