In New York and anywhere else, drunk driving with a child in the car is a dangerous and frightening act. According to Suffolk County police, they arrested a woman from Long Island for allegedly drunk driving with five children in her car, ranging from 7 months to 8 years of age. The suspect is accused of trying to drive through a DWI checkpoint on July 6, prior to being finally pulled over by police. They charged her with DWI with a child passenger and endangering the welfare of a child pursuant to New York criminal laws.
Thankfully, there was one other adult in the car, according to police. The news reports do not indicate what evidence the police have that the woman was in fact drunk. Every element of the crime must be proved by credible evidence beyond a reasonable doubt.
The only indication in the news article is that the police “determined she was intoxicated” after pulling her over. It may be that the police, being at an organized checkpoint, were prepared and equipped to do all of the necessary diagnostic tests. But that remains to be seen.
Furthermore, with another adult in the car, there may be mitigating circumstances that can assist in the woman’s defense. Of course, when the suspect obtains New York criminal defense counsel, the attorney will review and evaluate all arrest records to determine what evidence exists. Only after an examination of all of the facts, test results and other indications of drunk driving can defense counsel evaluate the strength or weakness of the prosecution's case. The evidence may range from questionable support for a DWI arrest to overwhelming evidence of guilt.
When the evaluation is made, defense counsel and the client will discuss how to handle the drunk driving defense under New York law. The great majority of cases result in plea agreements. Here, it is particularly important to combat the endangering charge, which could bring some serious punishment if the suspect is found guilty. In that respect, counsel's experience can prove to be decisive.
Source: nbcnewyork.com, "Woman Allegedly Drove Drunk With Five Children in Car", , July 7, 2014