You may not think driving a little buzzed is a big deal. However, if law enforcement stops you for another traffic violation, it can become one. You do not even need to drink enough alcohol to show visible signs of intoxication. Any indication that you’ve been drinking can lead to an arrest for a DWI.
Looking for evidence
During a traffic stop, law enforcement officers will ask you for your driver’s license, registration and insurance. They may even ask you some innocent sounding questions to keep you talking. During that time, the officer will assess your physical appearance and the contents in your vehicle that are in view for potential signs of drinking.
If they suspect you are intoxicated from your appearance, smell or the contents of your vehicle, you may need to complete a field sobriety test. A positive result can cause you to receive a DWI charge. This may, in turn, lead to the loss of your license.
Bear in mind that you may have been driving just like everyone else on the roads but at a slower or faster speed. There is also the possibility that you failed to stop completely at a red light. The moment you failed to follow the rules of the road was when the officer was looking your way.
Any traffic violation can become serious business
Traffic tickets are not always easy to handle. You may think you can get by with paying the fines to make them disappear.
However, even small traffic mistakes or infractions can turn into something more serious. Even if drinking is not involved, too many points on your record can lead to a suspended license because of the New York point system.
Do everything you can to protect your driving record. Failure to defend yourself from seemingly minor tickets may lead to a blemish on your record.
James L. Riotto is an accomplished criminal defense attorney serving clients in New York. With an extensive background in law enforcement and criminal prosecution, his approach to each case is unique and informed by years of experience with the New York criminal justice system. As a graduate from Albany Law School and before going on to start his own practice, James worked at the Albany County District Attorney's Office, where he helped prosecute many DWI offenses. His inside knowledge of the tactics used to gain convictions provides him with a particular advantage when defending against DUI and other criminal charges.
About Attorney Adam Staier has spent the last seven years practicing criminal defense law throughout upstate New York and the Capital Region. He began his legal career through internships in civil law, indigent legal representation and federal energy law regulation. Finding a passion in criminal law, Mr. Staier held internships handling both prosecution and defense…