New York DWI/DWAI Law Blog

Common mistakes for New York motorists charged with DWI

When motorists are pulled over by the police, they may not realize that some of the things they say or do can get them in a great deal of trouble. This not only applies to legal matters, such as an admission of guilt, but other factors they may not have considered. Here in New York, law enforcement considers driving while intoxicated to be a very serious offense. Those who are charged with DWI might make matters worse through some of their actions.

Some of the more well-known errors are still good to keep in mind. To go back to the admission of guilt, a person does not have to admit that he or she is intoxicated or answer questions. That, however, means staying silent and not speaking curtly or disrespectfully or not making jokes to officers, which are also mistakes. Having an open container of alcohol in the vehicle may compel officers to test a driver's blood alcohol level. 

DWI charges in New York over Labor Day stemmed from campaign

A few weeks ago, we discussed the efforts of police to crack down on impaired driving over the course of the Labor Day Weekend ("New York State Police plan DWI enforcement for Labor Day", Aug. 19, 2014). The results of that campaign are now available, and they show that a great deal of DWI charges were filed against drivers. Those New York motorists who were charged likely realize that they need to consider the charges seriously, though they may not be aware of all of the potential ramifications.

The "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over Campaign" not only included the holiday weekend, but the last couple of weeks of August. Overall, New York State Troopers wrote over 46,000 tickets for various offenses, including drunk driving. A total of 663 people were charged with a DWI. Seventy-one of those were arrested at sobriety checkpoints that assessed around 19,000 drivers.

Revoked driver's license in New York may due to different reasons

There are many reasons that a motorist might lose his or her driving privileges. Those reasons are typically tied to convictions based upon certain driving infractions. A person who is accused of driving on a suspended or revoked driver's license could face additional charges, depending on the circumstances unique to his or her personal situation. New York prosecutors consider these offenses very seriously and a motorist could face a violation, misdemeanor or felony charge. Penalties for a conviction cover a range of possible punishments, including incarceration.

There may be times when a motorist neglects to handle his or her case in the most advantageous way. Some do not answer to summonses, fail to remember a court date or neglect to pay a fine. A warrant could be issued in any of these instances, leading to a person having his or her license revoked or suspended. Some people lose their license after being charged with a DWI, failing to report an accident or other offenses. Karen Friedman has a great deal of experience with these types of cases.

How does a Breathalyzer test refusal affect my case?

Many New York residents have to face charges of intoxicated driving at some point during their lives. They likely know how serious these types of offenses are considered and are aware of the potential punishments. They might mistakenly believe that if they do not submit to testing for their blood alcohol content, that it will work in their favor, but that may not be the case. A Breathalyzer test refusal can have significant consequences of which accused persons need to be aware.

Here in New York, refusing a Breathalyzer test can have immediate consequences. It can result in a revocation of one's driver's license for a year. A fine may also be issued in addition to potentially impacting one's car insurance. The fact that a person is driving is typically enough to demonstrate what is known as "implied consent," meaning that a driver consents to blood alcohol testing in exchange for being allowed to drive. Not submitting to such testing means that the driver is surrendering his or her driving privileges, in the eyes of the law.

New York State Police plan DWI enforcement for Labor Day

Summer is winding down, and many families are planning one last trip before the weather changes. Many will use the upcoming Labor Day holiday weekend as an opportunity for a family get-together, and some of these gatherings will involve the consumption of alcohol. New York State Police have warned motorists that they are going to be launching a special campaign to look for drivers who may be intoxicated and will not hesitate to charge someone with a DWI when circumstances warrant.

The program is known as the “Drunk Driving, Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over Campaign”. With it will come an increase in DWI checkpoints and an increase in the amount of patrolling police officers, including unmarked police cars. The program will last from Aug. 15 through Sept. 1.

New York man faces reckless driving charges after fatal accident

When someone stands accused of causing a fatal car accident, it should never be taken lightly. Whether the driver is alleged to have caused the accident by reckless driving, failing to obey traffic signals and signs or other violations, a resulting fatality will be considered very seriously by prosecutors. Recently, a man here in New York was accused of causing a fatal accident, and he is facing several traffic violations that could result in jail time if he is found guilty.

According to the authorities, the man in this story was traveling at a high rate of speed on a state route when he allegedly tried to pass a car in front of him and struck an oncoming SUV. All four of the people in the man’s car, including him, were ejected from his car. One passenger passed away, while two other passengers had to be rushed to area hospitals. Two people in the SUV had to be transported to hospitals as well. It is not clear if the driver was injured at the time of the crash, though he is currently in custody at a correctional facility.

Gov. Cuomo signs harsher law for repeat DWI offenses in New York

When someone in New York is convicted of driving while intoxicated, they are likely aware of the potential punishments they may face. What they might not be privy to is what could happen to them if they are charged more than once with a DWI. Governor Cuomo recently signed a law that gives judges the power to enforce stricter punishments on those with multiple DWIs in their history, and it has the potential to severely affect many in the state.

The new law is an amendment that provides for those who are convicted of more than one DWI in a 15-year period to have the charge raised to a felony. The previous law only applied to those who had more than one DWI within 10 years. A conviction under these new terms lengthens the potential jail time to seven years and allows judges to impose fines up to $10,000.

New York man refused a Breathalyzer test at police department

When a person is accused of a DWI, the effects it can have on other aspects of his or her life may not be well-known. In addition to possible jail time or hefty fines, the defendant may have trouble securing eventual employment. The future of one New York man remains uncertain,after he was recently arrested for a DWI. The police say that he refused a Breathalyzer test.

Authorities report that the man in this story arrived at a police station to pick up another person who was being released from custody. The charge that the other person was accused of is unrelated to this incident. When police were interviewing the man, they grew suspicious that he might be intoxicated. They claim that he smelled of alcohol and was displaying other physical signs of inebriation.

DWI charges in New York for man with revoked driver's license

When drivers are accused of driving while intoxicated, that charge alone is enough to dramatically alter their lives. If it is coupled with other factors, such as a previous conviction or a revoked driver's license, it can be even more problematic. People in that category might face even harsher punishments if convicted. An out-of-state man was recently charged with a DWI here in New York, and authorities say his personal circumstances could mean that he will see repercussions throughout his life.

According to authorities, the man in this case was driving on an interstate very late at night. He was allegedly traveling in the wrong direction, but police did not report any injuries or accidents from the incident. Police arrested the man and charged him with felony DWI, due to a prior conviction. He faces additional charges relating to the absence of an interlock device that might have prevented the car from being started, reckless driving and driving with a revoked license.

New York man charged with second DWI in 10 years

The recent Fourth of July holiday was a time for many families to get together and celebrate. As is the case with many celebrations, there are those individuals who likely consumed alcohol as part of the festivities. During the entire weekend, state and local police in New York were on patrol and watching for signs of suspected impaired driving. One man was arrested and charged with a DWI on the holiday after he allegedly crashed his vehicle.

The accident happened late at night on the Fourth. The driver apparently crashed his vehicle after -- as state police allege -- consuming alcohol. He submitted to a breath test, which measured his blood alcohol content to be over the legal limit. Because the man had apparently been convicted of DWI on a prior occasion within the preceding 10 years, the charge was raised to a felony.

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Karen A. Friedman
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New York, NY 10016
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