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Poughkeepsie DWI Defense Law Blog

Drunk driving charges for man spotted in police parking lot

A New York man was arrested and charged with drunk driving in the parking lot of a police academy in Albany. The incident happened on May 17 in the parking lot of the New York State Police Academy.

According to police reports, an off-duty state trooper saw a man that the trooper thought looked suspicious in the parking lot, prompting him to make a report. Troopers that responded alleged that they saw the man get out of his car and lie down on the grass behind the building.

Repeated drunk driving offenders may face lifetime bans

New York motorists who have multiple prior alcohol- or drug-related traffic convictions may have their drivers' licenses permanently revoked. On May 9, the Court of Appeals ruled that the laws allowing lifetime bans were constitutionally permissible.

Three drivers who had their licenses permanently revoked had sued the state, arguing that the laws were impermissibly broad and that the lifetime bans were an overreach. The Court of Appeals instead unanimously ruled that the state's interest in public safety outweighed any issues that might exist and that the ban was within the purview of the Department of Motor Vehicles and its expertise.

Fewer traffic fatalities with ignition interlock devices

New York motorists who have a first-time conviction for driving under the influence are required by law to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicle. However, this is not the case in every state. As of March 2016, only 26 states had a mandatory requirement that the device must be installed after a first offense when a person is driving over the legal limit. In other states, the device is installed when the driver has a higher blood alcohol content, often .15 or above, for a second offense or at the discretion of the judge.

In a study that appeared in the "American Journal of Preventive Medicine", researchers reported that there was a 7 percent drop in alcohol-related fatal traffic accidents in states that had a mandatory ignition interlock requirement. This means that since 1993, approximately 1,250 lives have been saved. About one-third of all traffic fatalities in 2014 had alcohol as a factor for a total of about 10,000 deaths.

Man involved in fatal limo crash pleads guilty to DWI

On April 26, it was reported that a New York man who was charged with a DWI in connection with a two-car accident that resulted in four deaths pleaded guilty. The man had potentially been facing manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide charges, but a grand jury declined to issue these charges as they determined that the other driver was responsible for causing the deaths.

The accident occurred in July 2015. A limousine with eight female passengers was leaving a winery located in Long Island when the driver made a U-turn. The accused man, who was driving a pickup truck, t-boned the limousine. The man was charged with DWI after admitting to authorities that he had had several beers before driving.

A traffic violation or DWI in New York does not stay in New York

You’re driving through New York, and you get a ticket or get pulled over for drunk driving. It may seem like you only have to deal with the consequences in New York. You may have fines, jail time and other consequences, but you don’t expect those to impact your life back home. However, this is not the case.

Over the years, the majority of U.S. states entered into the national Driver License Compact, including New York, Connecticut, New Jersey and Massachusetts. This agreement allows for the sharing of traffic offenses between states. So, if you receive a moving violation, DWI or DWAI in New York, this information will be shared with your state. This will add points to your license, and it could result in a license suspension. 

What you need to know about tickets for using your cell phone

Earlier this month, New York State police cracked down on cell phone use and distracted driving, issuing more than 15,000 tickets in one week. Across the state, law enforcement agencies are taking a close look at distracted driving, and taking steps to prevent it. This means that more tickets could be issued, and you could get one if you are not careful.

Why are there more tickets now?

A study of 2015 accidents in New York showed that 150 fatal car accidents were the result of driver distraction. As a result, law enforcement is issuing more tickets to drivers who are using their cell phones behind the wheel. Statistics show that cell phone use is highest among 16-24 year olds. For this reason, law enforcement may choose to target college students on the road. 

Rapper Chief Keef facing drunk driving charges

Hip-hop fans in New York and around the country probably know Keith Cozart better by his stage name Chief Keef. The 21-year-old rapper burst onto the music scene in 2011 and has since released several highly acclaimed mixtapes and studio albums, but he has also had his share of trouble with the law. Cozart was taken into custody by police in California in January after he allegedly assaulted a music producer in his home, and he provided gossip columnists with more headlines on April 8 when he was charged with driving under the influence of drugs in Florida.

According to a Miami Beach Police Department report, Cozart was approached by officers after the passenger in the vehicle he was driving appeared to take part in a drug transaction. Reports suggest that Cozart had been using the bright green sports car throughout the day to record a music video. Police say that they observed Cozart's passenger exit the vehicle and hand a bag of what was described as a green leafy substance to the occupants of a second vehicle.

Opiate epidemic sparks surge in drugged driving

Drugged driving incidents are becoming far more common in New York and around the country according to reports from the nation's police departments and data from several federal agencies. Marijuana remains the most common illegal drug found in the systems of impaired motorists, but police in Rust Belt states like Ohio and Michigan say that they are far more concerned about an epidemic of opiate addiction.

Heroin and prescription opiates like oxycodone and fentanyl pose a particular threat to road users according to doctors. Individuals who take opiates must monitor their intakes carefully to prevent the onset of withdrawal symptoms, and police say that this often leads them to swallow, inject or smoke these drugs while behind the wheel. Media outlets around the country drew attention to the issue in September 2016 when images were published of an Ohio couple who had passed out in their car after using heroin while their young child looked on.

Teen accused of drunk driving following car accident

On March 29, it was reported that a New York teenager was charged with felony DWI after he was accused of causing a car accident while he had two underage passengers in his vehicle. According to authorities, the 19-year-old Commack man was driving on March 28 when he crashed the vehicle into a stop sign, a light pole and finally a tree.

Authorities responded to a report about an accident that occurred on Route 25A near Exit SM5 at about 5:30 p.m. It appeared that the teenager was operating a 2011 Infiniti when he lost control, causing the vehicle to crash into a sign, a light post and a tree before coming to a stop. The authorities determined that he was under the influence of alcohol when the accident occurred. He was taken to a nearby hospital where he was treated and released. It was not reported if the two minors suffered any injuries.

What you need to know if you are pulled over for drunk driving

When you are having fun with friends drinking, time can pass quickly and it can be difficult to know when you have had too much to drink. You might feel like you are sober enough to drive. But if you are pulled over, you may find that you are over the limit.

If you are stopped by the police, there are some things you should know:

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Glenn R. Bruno, Esq.