A research study that was conducted in 2010 by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety indicated that 41 percent of U.S. motorists have fallen asleep behind the wheel at least once. In some cases, driving while you're tired can even cause you to get arrested for a DWI. For example, a Florida county commissioner was charged with drunk driving in 2006, but the charges were dropped after the results of a blood test verified his story that he was simply exhausted. This definitely sheds some light on the potential legal complications of drowsy driving, and it's important for everyone to recognize the similarities between exhaustion and intoxication that could lead to an arrest.
Understanding Proable Cause and How it Affects Your New York DWI Case
In order to arrest someone for DWI, a law enforcement officer must have probable cause. There is a great deal of confusion out there about what that term actually means. Probable cause requires concrete, factual evidence. An officer can't typically collect such evidence prior to stopping a motorist, so probable cause doesn't usually come into play until after an officer has a chance to observe and interact with a person suspected of a crime. In New York as elsewhere, a popular way to fight DWI charges is by showing that an officer did not have probable cause to arrest a driver in the first place, so it is important to understand what the term really means and how it applies to DWI cases.
His father was at one time the head of basketball operations for the New York Knicks, as well as the team’s coach. But the 25-year-old son of Isiah Thomas made a few headlines of his own when he was recently arrested on suspicion of DWI and driving while ability impaired.
The arrest was at about 3:30 a.m. in Lower Manhattan, as Joshua Thomas apparently drove home from work as a DJ at a club.
With some of the harshest drunk driving laws in the country, it is surprising that there is even a discussion in the New York legislature about making the driving while intoxicated law stricter. Unfortunately, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has made it quite clear that he would like to make life even more difficult for individuals convicted of multiple DWI charges. While his most recent push was dropped, there are concerns that DWI penalties will be covered before the end of the state legislative session.
According to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, if someone is convicted of three or more DWI charges within 10 years, he or she will lose his or her driver's license for at least 18 months. This is mandatory, but it is also a minimum, meaning that someone could have his or her license permanently revoked.
One of the reasons why it is so detrimental for members of the New York Police Department to be charged with a crime is because it makes all future testimony suspect. It is much harder to take an officer's word as true if he or she has been convicted of a crime, at least that is how many people in the criminal justice system see it. Just because an officer has a clean criminal record, however, doesn't mean that he or she can't lie under oath.
Since most officers are trusted and their testimony carries great weight, judges and jury members are likely to believe what officers say. What happens when an officer is lying about a suspect? That suspect could be convicted of a crime that he or she never committed.
If you've recently been caught speeding, you may be able to fight your traffic violation in court. Under New York traffic laws, there are a few options at your disposal. Most importantly, you must know what type of speed limit you're accused of violating in order to mount a potential speeding ticket defense. How you approach your traffic court appearance should be based on the type of violation.
Imagine a situation in which you've had a few too many alcoholic drinks, and you're pretty sure you're not safe to drive home. You know that it's risky to drink and drive, and you don't want to be charged with a DWI under New York City laws. You don't have any money for a cab, your car is parked at the bar or restaurant, and your friends are either unavailable or equally drunk. What do you do?
Your first inclination may be to climb onto your back seat and take a nap until you're sober enough to drive home. This seems like a reasonable option because you wouldn't be driving under the influence, and you could take your time to sober up. However, if you decide to sleep in your car until you're sober, you can still face DWI charges.
Even though we have stressed just how serious a drunk driving charge is, it is still relatively uncommon for someone to lose his or her job specifically because he or she is convicted of driving while intoxicated. At worst, most New Yorkers will be inconvenienced or, in rare cases, lose their job because they needed to be able to drive for work. For officers of the New York Police Department, however, any criminal conviction can have serious implications for their career, something a 22-year-old rookie is learning after his recent arrest.
The young man was arrested in northeast Queens even though he works in Manhattan. He was off the clock when he was arrested, but that likely means little when it comes to both the internal and external punishments he may be facing.
What Happens if I Refuse a Breathalizer Test For DWI?
If you have been pulled over for a DWI in New York City, the police officer likely requested that you submit to a Breathalyzer test. When this happens, you are allowed to refuse the test based on New York DWI laws, but there are significant consequences for your refusal. While it may be a common belief that refusing a Breathalyzer test can get you off the hook for a DWI, the penalties of doing so can actually be almost as bad as those accompanying a first-time DWI conviction.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been quite clear that he doesn't want people who have been convicted of drunk driving on the roads. His most recent plan was to include for a reform that would permanently revoke the driver's license of anyone convicted of three drunk driving charges, though it has been removed by the State Assembly from his budget plan. While some people in New York City are quick to jump on this and say that anyone who has been convicted three times for drunk driving certainly deserves to lose his or her license, this plan fails to take into account instances of poor judgment.
Sure, we assume that the people who are committing these drunk driving crimes are going out, getting supremely intoxicated and getting into their cars, knowing that it is dangerous to do so. The truth of the matter is, however, not all people convicted of drunk driving are that aware of the risk. Take, for example, a teenager who is pressured into drinking by his or her friends and isn't really aware of how much alcohol is going to put him or her over the limit.