Glenn R. Bruno, Esq.
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DWI suspect accuses police of classism

One driver in New York had an unusual complaint when she was stopped on suspicion of drunk drinking on June 2. The 28-year-old woman told the police that she was targeted because she was rich. However, the authorities say the woman was under the influence of alcohol.

The woman, who is a former broker for the Douglas Elliman firm, was pulled over when officers saw her swerving on Henry Hudson Parkway at about 1 a.m. According to a statement from her arraignment, she blamed the swerving on the vehicle being new while and said that she only had one drink. She further claimed that the traffic stop was an example of poor people were "picking on" rich people.

The authorities tell a different story as they allege she slurred her speech, was unsteady while standing up, had bloodshot eyes and that her breath carried the odor of an alcoholic beverage. The woman did not consent to a Breathalyzer test, which led a judge to suspend her license. She was released without bail and charged with operating a vehicle while impaired and operating a vehicle while intoxicated. The authorities reported that she has a sealed arrest and a DWI from 2009.

Drivers on the road give implied consent to breath testing, and refusing a test might result in a license suspension whether one was drinking or not. Other consequences like fines or jail time might follow if one is convicted. Depending on the circumstances of a case, one might go to trial or accept a plea bargain. An attorney could assist someone in either scenario. When going to trial, an attorney might question whether the police had probable cause to stop someone or whether the evidence of intoxication is valid. Blood tests are scientific evidence, but breath testing and sobriety tests are not.

Source: NY Post, "Ex-broker busted for DWI blasts cops for 'picking on rich people,'" Rebecca Rosenberg, June 6, 2016

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