As the school year winds down, high school seniors all over New York and across the nation are getting excited about graduation. Not only does it mark a major milestone in any teens' life, it also means attending scores of graduation parties with friends and classmates.
For as long as people have been getting behind the wheel while intoxicated, there have been efforts by law enforcement authorities and activists to prevent this from happening. While some people might argue that some of these measures go too far, there are others that claim law enforcement officers and political officials still aren't doing enough. Although all states have statutes and laws to punish those who drive under the influence, each state goes about its business a little differently.
Everyone is innocent until proven guilty. It's a phrase we've all heard before and a presumption in the law that many consider to be the most important element of our criminal justice system. But did you know that this presumption does not apply in all criminal cases? If you didn't know this, you're not alone. In fact, many New Yorkers may be completely unaware of one particular law that forces people into challenging legal situations.
In a 2014 letter to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, New York's own Sen. Chuck Schumer urged federal regulators to place a ban on a new product called Palcohol that the senator believed would become "the Kool-Aid of teen binge drinking." To this day, Sen. Schumer still believes that people would undoubtedly abuse Palcohol; and with recent approval from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, it's possible that Sen. Schumer's concern could become a reality down the road.
When America was first being formed, it was decided that the states should have the right to create their own laws. To this day, the same principle is true. Unfortunately though, this creates a problem for citizens today. That's because we are a very mobile society now, crossing from one state to another. When we visit these other states, we have to abide by their laws. But because not all laws are worded the same, you might find yourself trying to assert rights you might not have.
If you're like a lot of our readers who have received a DWI in their lifetime, you probably don't want to incur another drunk-driving conviction. That's because you likely know that multiple DWI convictions can escalate penalties and can even lead to time in a state prison. Most people want to avoid this negative outcome, which oftentimes means learning as much as they can about the law so that they don't violate it down the road.
The law is pretty clear here in New York: drinking and driving is illegal and if you are convicted of this very serious crime, you will suffer the legal consequences which can range from fines to license suspensions to time in jail. But what about in other states? Are the risks of drinking and driving as severe? More to the point, how does New York stack up against other states in effectiveness of curbing DUIs?
In New York, there are certainly collateral consequences for driving while intoxicated or driving while ability impaired. Depending on the specifics, the consequences can range and include everything from expensive fines to a license suspension and jail time. These consequences can greatly impact a person's professional and personal life.
The guessing game of figuring out whether you are okay to drive after having a drink or two can be very tricky. You subjectively feel below the legal limit, but the police may say otherwise. As a result, you could end up getting arrested for DWI even when you swear you were not obviously intoxicated.
New York has a lot of colleges. So do the states all around the Northeast. And New York City is one major attraction for young people who may be students in the region.