Motorists in New York City are likely aware that it can be dangerous to drive if they have consumed any alcohol. Even if a driver has only had a couple of drinks, there can still be impairment. In addition, motorists can face serious charges if they are pulled over by authorities or are involved in an accident.
The majority of the time, when law enforcement officers in New York City and other cities throughout the U.S. pull a driver over and observe that they have been drinking, the driver themselves know they were drinking and driving. While sometimes drivers may claim they have not had too much to drink, they often realize they have been drinking and driving. Despite a driver’s intentions or beliefs regarding their intoxication and getting behind the wheel, if police stop them, they are typically charged with DUI or DWI.
Regardless of whether you are in New York City, or another U.S. city, there are gauges and tests that are regularly used by law enforcement to determine sobriety. Authorities also rely largely on their own observations when assessing sobriety. Sometimes tests may show a person to be within the legal limit, but their behavior may indicate more serious impairment.
In New York, as well as in every other state, citizens have certain rights that are protected by the Constitution. Even if someone stands accused of a crime, those rights remain intact and it is expected that they be upheld. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. There are instances where, due to specific circumstances, law enforcement officials put proving guilt above one's Constitutional rights. A related case in one state could have major effects on prosecuting drunk driving cases.
For the most part, cases where motorists are caught driving while intoxicated seem pretty straightforward. If there is evidence of drugs or alcohol in a driver's system, they are typically charged with some type of impaired driving charge.
Speeding does not seem like that big of a deal to many drivers. At one time or another, almost all motorists have driven faster than legally allowed. New York and other individual states are responsible for making and enforcing their own traffic laws. Speeding may seem like a minor offense to some, but many times additional charges and consequences come with a speeding charge.
For drivers who hit the road with a suspended license, there can be serious consequences. New York and other individual states all have their own penalties for motorists who drive with a revoked driver's license, like fines, points on their license or permanent license suspension. Depending on the state, a driver could even face jail time for getting caught driving with a suspended license.
Getting caught drunk driving by authorities can often lead to multiple criminal charges. There are times when no one is harmed by drinking and driving, but other times there can be more serious consequences of driving under the influence of alcohol. In those cases, often a DWI charge is just the tip of the iceberg. As New York and other states continue to crack down on drivers who operate vehicles while they are intoxicated, it is likely the charges and penalties will continue to be heavily enforced.
It's not uncommon to read about drunk driving cases involving rather strange circumstances, but a recent DUI case out of the state of Virginia is particularly remarkable as it gives a new meaning to the term "back seat driver."
The legal and social ramifications of such a DUI conviction are incredibly far-reaching. This may help explain why one attorney here in New York City is being so persistent in his demand for records from the New York Police Department, records that he believes will reveal that some people slapped with DUI convictions were actually convicted using information from faulty breathalyzers.