It’s that time of year again where you can find a crazy mash-up in the stores of everything from Halloween treats to Christmas gifts. It’s also that time of year where you can pretty much count on the fact that there will be feasting, parties, plenty of alcohol to go around at every event — and plenty of extra police officers patrolling for suspected drunk drivers.
An arrest for driving while intoxicated (DWI) or driving while ability impaired by alcohol (DWAI) has the potential to cast a shadow over the remainder of your holiday season. Depending on your age and the circumstances of your arrest you could be facing heavy fines, court fees, time in jail or prison and a suspended license before you’re through.
To minimize the chances that you’ll have a problem:
1. Don’t drink if you intend to drive.
Are you heading to a holiday party? Arrange for an Uber or ask a sober friend to serve as your designated driver. If not, content yourself with apple cider (the unspiked kind) or soda. While you’re automatically considered “too drunk to drive” if your blood alcohol content is .08 or higher, you can still face a DWAI charge when your blood alcohol level is between .02 and .07. Don’t risk it.
2. Understand your legal obligations.
In New York, like most other states, driving is considered a privilege conferred by the state, not a right. In order to have that privilege, you implicitly gave your consent for roadside testing if an officer suspects that you are drunk. While you can refuse a Breathalyzer test, you will likely face a license suspension. In certain circumstances, it’s also possible that the officer could get a warrant to compel the chemical testing.
3. Know how to handle a traffic stop.
The smartest thing you can do if you’re pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving is to contact a criminal defense attorney as quickly as possible. Our office has significant experience in this field. Contact us today to discuss your case.