CriticalDance Forum

Peter Martins' DWI charge
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Author:  Francis Timlin [ Thu Jan 06, 2011 2:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Peter Martins' DWI charge

NYCB Ballet Master in Chief Peter Martins was cited for "driving while intoxicated" at a checkpoint set up in Yonkers at 2:00 a.m. on January 1, 2011. The New York Times gives a brief report.

NY Times

Erica Orden has a more expansive version in the Wall Street Journal.

Wall Street Journal

Author:  Gina Ness [ Sat Jan 08, 2011 1:42 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Peter Martins' DWI charge

Unfortunate...I wonder what the repercussions will be for him. It's not okay to drive drunk...

Author:  ksneds [ Sat Jan 08, 2011 8:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Peter Martins' DWI charge

Probably nothing until the court case - and then it will depend upon the charge for which he is (or isn't) convicted. Not very smart to refuse the breathalyser, since it compounds the charges.

SO SO stupid though - he clearly knew he was going to a party. I'm pretty sure he has a place in NYC, so he could have stayed there - OR, with his generous salary, booked a car to take home after the New Years' celebrations.

It will be interesting to see how the company handles this - not sure whether contracts have clauses regarding criminal charges. Certainly Nilas Martins was taken off the stage ASAP after the drug bust in Saratoga, but he performed again before retiring. And Martins' continued as Balletmaster after his previous run in with the law - he was arrested after a run in with Darci Kistler some years ago. However, I think she dropped the charges, so that incident may never have gone to court.

Honestly, it might be just the excuse the Board of Directors needs to start the discussion about a change in leadership. Not that Martins hasn't done a good job, despite his detractors, but he's be at the top for almost 30 years, and the company needs a breath of fresh air (and less of his choreography). Certainly, people have mused about Damian Woetzel taking over the company and there are more than a few former company members with extensive AD experience elsewhere.


Author:  Gina Ness [ Sun Jan 09, 2011 1:27 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Peter Martins' DWI charge

I didn't know about the incident involving Nilas. I did remember the Darci Kistler story... It's really sad to have this negative attention swirling around such an important person to NYCB. Hope he gets his act together...

Author:  Michael Goldbarth [ Sun Jan 09, 2011 10:06 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Peter Martins' DWI charge

Indeed, this is a sensational story both stupid and sad at the same time. As with Kate, I do not understand why people with the means and wealth do not take a cab or hire a chauffeur or have a friend drive them home when they have obviously had one too many! Assuming he could find a sober friend or even acquaintance, who could say no to (a) driving Peter Martins home and (b) driving a 150k Bentley? I mean....really! Upon arriving home, Martins could have given the driver cab fare home. Very, very stupid.

Me thinks he will quietly pass on the reins to someone else before the start of the fall season. How do you cry for donations at a charity function when you’re a millionaire driving a Bentley....drunk :?:

Though the line of vehicles at the checkpoint on the Saw Mill River Parkway was “virtually at a standstill,” police at the checkpoint noticed that Mr. Martins’s 2005 Bentley Continental was wandering in and out of its lane, according to Mr. O’Leary. Mr. Martins drove onto the shoulder and struck the curb several times, at one point mounting the curb with his tires.

“He was having difficulty even at that very reduced speed,” Mr. O’Leary said.

Author:  ksneds [ Sun Jan 09, 2011 1:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Peter Martins' DWI charge

Sorry to skip around, my post linking back to the thread on Nilas Martins' arrest apparently didn't get posted. He eventually plead guilty to a misdemeanor - there wasn't enough cocaine in the bag to qualify for a felony. Which probably was a relief, since a felony conviction can cause all sorts of immigrations, employment and travel issues. And Martins seems to have developed a very nice/positively reviewed post-performing career in staging ballets/dance and composing music.


As to Peter Martins - I don't see the company making that kind of of dramatic move, unless they have no choice as per contractual obligations. He may have more problems regarding his employment at SAB, since that involves teaching and supervision of minors - having a felony criminal record may create legal issues in terms of him passing the appropriate background checks. (And I don't think he's going to be able to plead down on this one given the details provided thus far). Either way, not good publicity for SAB/NYCB.

Author:  Michael Goldbarth [ Tue Jan 11, 2011 9:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Peter Martins' DWI charge

Googling for Peter Martins I found an interesting article quoting his salary and perks for 2008 at $723,000! That’s a lot of $ by anyone’s standards. One would think that someone making that much money could afford cab fare home after having 1 too many. Is he working for the love of the arts or for the love of money :?:

Author:  ksneds [ Wed Jan 19, 2011 8:06 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Peter Martins' DWI charge ... r-DWI-case

Unfortunately, fame seems to have gotten him a good deal. $300 is an absolute joke. Sounds like he plead down to something that isn't a felony. This is where I really have problems with the law - drinking & driving is VERY serious, and from all the descriptions, he was well drunk and knew it, otherwise he'd not have refused the breathalyser. And he was so drunk, why didn't they get a warrant ASAP to do a blood test.

He's lucky - in Canada (Ontario at least), if you're caught even at the warning level, they automatically suspend your license and impound your car. Same if you refuse the breathalyser - that's essentially an admission of being drunk here.

I have a lot less respect for him now, and it makes me feel a lot less safe on the roads in Westchester. A slap on the wrist for something that could have killed someone - and those self same roads have been the locations of some horrific drunk driving accidents.

Author:  Michael Goldbarth [ Wed Jan 19, 2011 10:52 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Peter Martins' DWI charge

I echo the same sentiments as Kate. Unbelievable! $300???? What are 300 clams to Peter Martins-Perhaps dinner for 2 when he’s not in a spending mood? Let’s hope he learned his lesson. You need to rework your DWI laws in the States. It appears by the very lenient fine, that this man was the judge presiding over the case for Mr. Martins!

I still believe this provides enough reason for NYCB to move on and move in another fresh more innovate direction AD wise. He better keep his nose clean, as another incident, might not be taken so lightly by his employers.

Author:  Michael Goldbarth [ Wed Jan 19, 2011 9:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Peter Martins' DWI charge

Whiles I am writing atop my Soap Box....I would like to add that Monsieur Martins must have some friends in very high places in the legal society, ballet society, as well as the media society! His fine, if you can even call it that, was nothing more than a parking ticket, no one in the ballet world of real influence has commented, and more importantly, the media seems to be waiting on the sidelines. Where is the editorial against drinking and driving?

Everyone seems to be treating the incident like a fashion violation. Poor Peter Martins got caught wearing white after Labour Day and fined $300 for the offense! If Karen Kain was caught DWI, I’m sure there would be at the very least, a paragraph editorial. I’m also sure she would issue a public statement, apologize, and perhaps volunteer to do some community service or make a donation to MADD.

Is this a culture difference between Canada and the States? Like it or not, PM is in a position of influence leading a prestigious arts institution in NYCB and more is expected of someone in leadership. Now is the time to show some and stop the silence. Perhaps, the New York media is intimidated? It’s not like he barbecued his neighbour’s dog or committed murder; however, the potential was there to commit harm to another human, himself or both or more importantly, if you are a car lover, his $150k Bentley! :mrgreen:

Author:  Michael Goldbarth [ Thu Jan 20, 2011 7:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Peter Martins' DWI charge

How come Peter Martins did not suffer the fate of the DWI in this N.Y. Times article? It appears you do have some tough laws but only for the not-so-famous and wealthy it appear$.

Author:  barbar733 [ Thu Dec 08, 2011 1:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Peter Martins' DWI charge

Just happened to one of my students, in his case it's a bit worse. He's going to have immigration issues after dealing with all of this, it's sad!

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