New York DWI/DWAI Law Blog

How red light cameras may affect New York motorists

Many people here in New York are likely aware of the dangers associated with certain driving behaviors. Speeding, running a red light and other types of violations are a concern, although many people may simply make a mistake behind the wheel. These mistakes can still result in a potentially-costly ticket for those who are cited for traffic violations. Many locales now make use of cameras at stop lights in an effort to both discourage people from breaking the law and to catch those who do, and it is important for those who are cited for running a red light to be aware of them.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the act of running a red light happens fairly often. Nearly 700 people were killed in accidents that were related to running a stop light, and around 133,000 people were injured in 2012. The IIHS recommends that traffic signals are better-timed to avoid accidents, but they also advocate the use of red light cameras.

Crash with New York State police results in DWI for motorist

Here in New York, law enforcement works diligently to locate motorists that may be driving under the influence of alcohol. Those motorists who are charged with drunk driving face a range of possible punishments, including incarceration. For these reasons, people who are charged with a DWI should know just how seriously these accusations are taken. A recent crash demonstrates the gravity of a person's potential situation as a male driver has been accused of hitting two state troopers who claim that he was intoxicated at the time of the collision.

According to police, the troopers were traveling on the Interstate 90 on a recent early morning. They attempted to use an exit ramp to leave the highway when, allegedly, a man who was driving the wrong way up the ramp hit them head-on. The impact did not result in serious injury to the officers, who where taken to a local hospital for treatment.

How are ignition interlock devices used after a DWI in New York?

The state of New York takes drunk driving very seriously. Punishments for DWI can vary, including incarceration or fines, as well as losing one's license to operate a motor vehicle. The sentences depend on the circumstances of the crime and whether the accused has been convicted of a DWI in the past. One possible outcome from a DWI conviction is that a person may be required to have an ignition interlock device installed on his or her car. Many people may not know exactly what this device does and what it can mean for a person who has to have one installed.

Simply put, an IID prevents a driver from starting his or her vehicle if he or she has consumed alcohol above a certain level (typically set between .02 percent and .04 percent -- well below the state's threshold for drunk driving). It is installed -- at the driver's expense -- in the car and requires the person to take and pass a breath test before the car will start. In the state of New York, an IID can be installed on a person's vehicle after one DWI conviction. The length of time that the person has to use the device can vary, though typically it is for a period of one year.

What the Traffic Violations Bureau is like in New York City

Every day, motorists receive traffic tickets for various reasons. Dealing with these can be difficult -- a driver who has too many risks having his or her license suspended or revoked, in addition to other potential punishments. Going to the Traffic Violations Bureau here in New York City can be intimidating, as most people do not have the legal knowledge available to properly defend themselves against the charges. Karen A. Friedman, Attorney at Law here has a wealth of experience dealing with these types of infractions and may be able to help you.

Contrary to what many people might assume, those accused of traffic violations will not be given the chance to "plea bargain" at the Bureau. This is because there are no prosecutors who will be representing the government's interests. Accused persons cannot even speak to police officers about the citation. The two options available are to plead guilty or to have the case tried. The latter choice can be difficult for those who do not have any legal experience and may be more likely to result in a verdict of guilty without proper representation. 

How do blood alcohol content tests measure intoxication?

Those who are accused of intoxicated driving generally know that charges of this nature are very serious. Law enforcement uses several methods to determine a person's level of sobriety. These include field sobriety tests and blood alcohol content (BAC) tests. The latter category may seem intimidating, so it is important for those in New York to have an idea of how they work and what they may mean to a person's case.

Several different methods can be used to test a person's BAC, but the most commonly-used are breath and blood tests. The latter is not used as often by police, as it is typically seen as invasive. Many types of breath tests exist and typically use different methods to measure the alcohol content of a person's exhaled breath. 

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.

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Karen A. Friedman
30 E 33rd Street, 4th Floor
New York, NY 10016
Phone: 845-266-4400
Phone: 212-213-2145
Fax: 212-779-3289
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