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New York man stopped by other drivers, charged with DWI

A 48-year-old man was recently charged with DWI and several other offenses after other motorists reportedly saw his vehicle driving erratically on an upstate highway and took steps to stop him. Allegedly, after police arrived, the man would not submit to a Breathalyzer; officers reported that he appeared to be very intoxicated.

Three drivers responded after they say they saw the man's vehicle veering in and out of lanes. According to reports, the man also hit a tractor-trailer as he drove down Interstate 390 near Avon.

One of the drivers said that she responded due to fear that the driver would harm someone. A second driver believed the erratic driver to be having a medical emergency. One man stopped his truck in front of the weaving vehicle in order to force it to stop. This led to a fender-bender, but no one was seriously injured. The two other drivers then assisted in boxing the vehicle in until police could arrive. The three are being hailed as good Samaritans for their actions. The driver of the vehicle may have been fortunate that the motorists acted in the way they did. While drunk driving charges can be serious, they may be much more severe if the incidents involving them resulted in serious injuries or fatalities.

Even first-time offenses could have severe consequences, however. An attorney might be able to get charges reduced or dropped in some cases, but this could be difficult in a case such as this one involving several witnesses unless it can be proven that the man was indeed experiencing a medical emergency. In cases where the prosecution's case is strong, a defendant has a choice to negotiate a plea or to go to trial, and an attorney may be helpful in explaining the options available and recommending courses of action. These recommendations may change depending on factors such as whether the driver has previous convictions for DWI.

Source: FOX News, "New York Good Samaritans take alleged drunken driver off the road", February 26, 2014

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