For anyone who has never been faced with the prospect, drunk driving charges might not seem to be that big a deal. The truth of the matter is that New York law is pretty harsh and conviction on a driving while intoxicated charge can end up being life-altering -- and not in a good way.
Less than an hour and a half after being stopped and charged with DWI on New Year's Day, a Poughkeepsie woman was stopped a second time for the same offense. After the second contact, police took the woman into custody on additional DWI charges. A female passenger in her car was also taken into custody and charged with resisting arrest and related offenses. Both women were detained in the Ulster County Jail in lieu of bail. Police say the first incident happened shortly after 3 a.m. on Jan. 1 when they spotted the 20-year-old woman driving the wrong direction on southbound U.S. Highway 9 West. The woman was charged with misdemeanor drunk driving and related traffic offenses after she was found to have a blood alcohol content of more than 0.08 percent. Police released the woman into the custody of a responsible third party following the first stop.
New York drivers may be interested in changes to Leandra's Law, a statute requiring in-car breath testing systems for those convicted of driving while intoxicated. The changes will increase penalties and give prosecutors new tools against those they claim are circumventing the law.
Authorities in upstate New York took a tractor-trailer driver into custody after they allegedly found that he had been driving with a blood-alcohol level that was almost five times higher than the legal limit. Police found him after they responded to reports of an intoxicated truck driver who was in a shopping plaza located in Saratoga County, which is about 20 miles north of Albany.
New York basketball fans had to do without Brooklyn Nets coach Jason Kidd for two games at the start of the season. He was suspended by the NBA after pleading guilty to a charge of driving while intoxicated. Kidd would miss the first two games opening basketball's regular season, against the Cleveland Cavaliers in Cleveland and against the Miami Heat at home. Analysts expected the suspension as well as its length because other players and coaches had been given the same penalty after convictions or pleas on drunk driving charges.
Troubled actress Amanda Bynes may have been in a psychiatric ward since July 2013, but in late September, her trial proceeded without her. She was scheduled to appear in court on charges of driving while intoxicated in April 2012, but a lawyer for the former child star told the judge that she was mentally unfit to stand trial on the criminal counts. She was under long-term psychiatric treatment under a conservatorship at the time of the hearing.
Actress Lindsey Lohan's 50-year-old mother, Dina Lohan, has been arrested for DWI in New York after blood alcohol testing allegedly showed hers to be over twice the .08 percent legal limit. Media sources indicate that Lohan claimed to have been injured during the course of her arrest, but recanted this allegation after emergency personnel are said to have evaluated her and found no such injuries. She has been scheduled for a Sept. 24 appearance at the Nassau County 1st District Court.
A 53-year-old man in Bronxville, New York ran a red light at the White Plains Road and Pondfield Road intersection. Police took the man's blood alcohol content level and say that it was double the legal limit of 0.08.