Sleeping in car can result in DWI charge

New York residents know a DWI charge comes with devastating consequences. Along with hefty fines and potential jail time, a DWI charge results in a significant loss of freedom. A driver's license is normally suspended or revoked, and installation of an ignition interlock device is usually required.

Man charged with DWI after found sleeping in car

Recently, a 48-year-old man was charged with a DWI after officers found him sleeping in his car. The man was allegedly discovered sleeping behind the wheel of his idling car in a convenience store parking lot.

According to authorities, the car had a flat tire and some damage to its front end. The man, who awakened upon seeing the officers, claimed he hit a snow bank after leaving a nearby casino.

This is not the first time a New York resident was charged with a DWI after being found sleeping in a parked car. Last June, a 25-year-old man was found sleeping behind the wheel of his car while parked on a highway on-ramp.

Emergency medics were called to the scene after police reported that the man did not respond to repeated attempts to revive him. The police claim that the man eventually woke up and agreed to undergo field sobriety tests. The man charged has not substantiated any of these reports and is presumed innocent.

The man was taken to a hospital and charged with a DWI, supposedly based on the sobriety test results. Sobriety test results are not always accurate, and police can make mistakes in the collection of evidence required for arrest.

Factors affecting alcohol impairment

A variety of factors affect how a person responds to alcohol consumption, but any amount of alcohol consumption can lead to reduced judgment, lack of coordination and slow response time.

Body weight and food intake also affect alcohol impairment levels. Because food reduces alcohol absorption, eating before or while drinking alcohol decreases impairment.

The amount and duration of alcohol consumption also play significant roles in the body's response to alcohol. Consuming several drinks in a short period of time increases the chance of impairment and results in high blood alcohol content.

Blood alcohol content is the amount of alcohol concentration present in the blood at a certain period of time. The legal BAC level in New York is 0.08 percent, and a driver with higher blood alcohol content faces an increased chance of an accident.

It is important to remember that police may initially pull over a driver for reasons other than suspected drunk driving. These reasons include a broken brake light or head lamp or speeding. After the initial stop, the police may then study the driver for signs of impairment that may lead to a sobriety test. Therefore, it's important to elect a sober driver at the beginning of the evening or arrange for another form of safe transportation.

Coffee, exercise or a cold shower are frequently mentioned as common methods for reducing impairment. However, although they may result in feeling better, they do nothing in terms of reducing an individual's BAC level.

A STOP-DWI program is currently in effect throughout the entire state of New York. This program distributes money gained from DWI fines to local counties, which invest it in programs focusing on drunk driving prosecution and enforcement. This means there are more police on the roads using enhanced equipment to catch DWI suspects. This may lead to an increase in DWI stops and eventual charges.

New York residents charged with a DWI should consider the help of an experienced DWI lawyer. An attorney can provide valuable guidance and ensure the individual's rights are protected.