Motorists in New York understand that law enforcement takes a strong stance against drunk driving. Because of that, major campaigns are issued in an attempt to address drunk driving in the state. In these efforts, officers may set up checkpoints or increase patrol in certain areas, resulting in more stops and more arrests. When a driver is faced with a drunk driving charge, it is important that they understand that they have options to defend themselves.
Based on reports, troop F of the New York State Police announced that 28 intoxicated drivers were removed from the highways. These arrests occurred after a traffic stop was conducted. These motorists were stopped for a vehicle and traffic violation when further investigation was conducted. This revealed that the driver was impaired.
When law enforcement is under suspicion that a driver is under the influence of alcohol, certain steps must be taken. To begin, reasonable suspicion must exist. This is typically observing a driver weaving their vehicle in and out of the lane, slurred speech or the smell of alcohol coming form a vehicle. Based on reasonable suspicion, a field sobriety test could be conducted. The tests need to be conducted properly, and base don the results of these tests, law enforcement might request a driver to submit to a blood alcohol concentration test.
When a driver’s BAC is above the legal limit, this could result in an arrest and a DUI charge. While it might seem like a driver is now stuck with this traffic violation, the reality is that he or she could assert a defense. If law enforcement did not conduct these tests properly or a breathalyzer was not properly calibrated, this could allow a motorist to assert a defense.
Facing a drunk driving charge may not seem as serious when compared to other crimes one could be charged with; however, a DUI, whether a first offense or not, could cause a motorist to experience serious consequences. Having a driver’s license suspended could significantly impact a driver, and the fines associated with the traffic violation could be hefty. Because of this, it is important that defendants take the time to explore their defense options to reduce or even dismiss these allegations.
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.
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