Drunk driving is one of the most common grounds for criminal charges in the US, and New York law enforcement officers are diligent in apprehending offenders. Statistics indicate that police arrest more than 25,000 people every for violating state laws on Driving While Intoxicated (DWI). Many motorists are aware that the legal limit in New York is .08 percent blood alcohol concentration (BAC), but you might not realize that police could arrest someone who shows signs of impairment. If convicted, you could face serious penalties and a driver’s license suspension.
However, an arrest is just the beginning of the criminal process. You have multiple opportunities to fight the allegations, and a Rochester, NY drunk driving defense attorney can assist with strategies for obtaining the best possible outcome. What you do after getting pulled over could affect your case, so there are a few rules to follow when you get pulled over for DWI in New York.
1. Pull Over Safely, Calmly: The moment you see lights flashing, determine where you can safely stop and turn on your blinker. Move to the shoulder without any abrupt movements, and never try to flee. While awaiting police to approach your vehicle, assemble the documents officers will request: Your driver’s license, registration, and insurance information.
2. Be Polite and Respectful: When interacting with police, always be courteous. Address the individual as “officer,” and remember your manners. In addition, avoid sudden movements and keep your hands visible. Police have concerns about violence and could react in a way you do not expect.
3. Do Not Admit to Drinking: Besides providing documentation as requested, you should politely decline to answer such questions as:
Where are you coming from?
Have you been drinking?
Where are you headed?
4. Refuse Tests in the Field: If police ask for a breath sample during the roadside stop, you can and should decline. Portable breathalyzers are inaccurate, and New York’s implied consent law only applies once you are already under arrest.
Penalties for DWI Convictions
For a first-time conviction on drunk driving charges, you face a maximum of 15 days in jail and a fine ranging from $300 to $500. Plus:
For a second conviction within 5 years, your punishment could be up to 30 days’ incarceration and a $500 to $750 fine.
A third conviction within 10 years is a misdemeanor, for which a judge could sentence you to 180 days in jail and a maximum fine of $1,500.
Besides being a criminal offense, drunk driving also affects your driving privileges. Your driver’s license could be suspended for up to 6 months.
Trust a Rochester, NY DWI Defense Lawyer to Fight the Charges
Considering these penalties, you can see the importance of following these tips in a drunk driving case. Retaining skilled representation is another critical rule to follow, so please contact Robert King at King Law to learn how we can help. You can call (585) 270-8882 or visit our website to set up a consultation. A New York DWI defense attorney will advise you on the process after reviewing your circumstances.