New York DWI/DWAI Law Blog

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.

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.

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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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