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New York DUI Law Blog

Are there any pros to lowering the drinking age?

As so many of our readers know, in the United States, the legal drinking age is 21. But did you know this isn’t the case in other countries? In countries like Iceland and Japan, the drinking age in 20. In 85 other countries, the drinking age is lowered even further to 18 and 19. And in 27 additional countries, there is no minimum legal drinking age at all.

Some legislators and organizations such as MADD have been working feverously to raise the minimum drinking age in the hopes of cutting down on underage drinking and decreasing the number of drunk-driving fatalities in the nation. But while most people recognize these as good things, they also beg the question: are there any pros to lowering the drinking age?

What can cause a driver's license to become suspended or revoked?

Driving is considered a privilege here in New York, not a right. This means that a person's ability to drive legally in the state can be taken away at any time for any amount of time. But what can cause a driver's license to become suspended or revoked here in New York? It's a very good question and one that we hope to answer in this week's blog post.

The first thing to note is that there is a difference between a suspended license and a revoked license. As some of our more frequent readers may know from our July post on the subject, suspension of a license lasts for a certain period of time before driving privileges are restored. Revocation on the other hand means that a license has been taken away permanently and may only be reinstated if the driver meets the DMV's strict requirements.

Busting myths that could get you busted

In a 2003 episode of the Discovery Channel's hit show "Myth Busters," Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman tackled some drunk-driving myths that we're sure many of our readers are familiar with. From word of mouth to Internet forums, many people tout such classics as sucking on a penny to using mouthwash as the best ways to beat a Breathalyzer. But is this really possible? Let's take a look.

As is explained in an article on How Stuff Works, when a person has a drink, alcohol can be absorbed into the bloodstream at any point between the mouth and the intestines. When alcohol-laden blood moves across the air sacs of the lungs, some of the alcohol evaporates and escapes when a person breathes.

Missouri v. McNeely and how it affects drivers in New York

Have you ever considered how other states handle criminal cases? If you're like many of our readers then you probably answered no to this question. After all, how often does the jurisdiction of one state affect another?

The same is probably true about criminal cases as well. How likely is the outcome of a case in another state going to affect residents here in New York? Well, if that case goes to the U.S. Supreme Court, then the chances are very likely. That's because cases that make it to the Supreme Court often center around a national issue; and depending on how the justices decide, it could affect the entire country.

Admission of drugged driving gets New York teen 5 to 15 years

As the famous poet Alexander Pope once said, "to err is human, to forgive, divine." Some regard this quote as the reason to forgive people for the mistakes they have made in life. Unfortunately, some mistakes are not so easily forgiven, especially not those that violate our criminal laws.

Such was the case for the 19-year-old New York teen who was sentenced this month to five to 15 years in prison for his involvement in a fatal crash back in October 2012. Some of you may remember hearing about the crash that occurred along the Southern State Parkway in Long Island. The driver, then 17, is said to have been speeding when his car slammed into a tree along the roadway. Four of his teenage friends were killed in the crash.

What can I expect with a first-time DWI offense?

Everyone always says that you should know your rights when facing criminal charges. And while this is true, it can also be incredibly difficult, especially when it is your first offense. In some cases, first-time offenders do not even realize they have broken the law until they have been arrested and are charged. In these situations, they may not know what their rights are or what penalties they could face if they are convicted.

That's why, in this week's post we want to focus on first-time drunk driving offenses. By giving you a heads up about the potential penalties you could face and how this could affect you down the road, we hope that our readers will get a better idea of what their rights are as well.

New drunk driving law cracks down on repeat offenders

Like many other criminal offenses, repeat convictions for driving while intoxicated within a given number of years can subject a criminal defendant to more severe penalties, such as bigger fines and longer sentences.

Starting in November 2014, the laws for repeat DWI offenders in New York will be getting even tougher. Two weeks ago, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed a bill into law. The provision is called Vince’s Law, named after a victim who died in a drunk driving accident. The driver in that crash was reportedly awaiting sentencing for his fifth DWI offense and had a blood alcohol content four times greater than the legal limit of 0.08 percent.

New York man could face endangerment charges after DUI arrest

A 41-year-old West New York man could face some rather serious criminal charges because of his alleged actions just days ago. The man was originally pulled over, police say, because he was allegedly speeding and is said to have driven through a stop sign without stopping. But what happened next is what may lead the man to seek legal representation in the near future.

According to police, an officer tried to pull the man over by activating his siren. But the report indicates that the man did not stop until he had reached his home one block away. Some people believe that if they are close to their residence, it is easier to have law enforcement make a traffic stop there instead of on city streets. Unfortunately, this can oftentimes hurt your case because it can lead to additional charges.

Researchers believe lowering the drinking age might avoid crashes

Even though the legal drinking age is not determined by the federal government, there is one, uniform drinking age across the country: 21. This has not always been the drinking age and there were times when the drinking age changed by state. So, what happened? The federal government tied a significant enough portion of a state's highway funds to the state adopting the unified (and often higher) legal drinking age of 21. The drinking age has not changed in the past 30 years.

The thought was that if all the states had a legal drinking age of 21 that there would be fewer drunk driving accidents. While a uniform drinking age may go far to reduce the number of young people driving across state lines to drink or purchase alcohol, there are some people within the motor vehicle safety field who believe a lowered drinking age could actually help drunk driving crashes.

What is the difference between suspension and revocation?

Many people in Staten Island are aware that if they are convicted of driving while intoxicated that their licenses could be suspended or revoked, but what does that really mean? Is there a difference and, if so, what is it?

According to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, there is a difference, and understanding that difference may make it much easier for someone to reinstate his or her license following a suspension or revocation.