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Poughkeepsie DWI Defense Law Blog

New York texting violations increase but plea deals prove helpful

New York law enforcement reports an increase of texting violations by 205 percent statewide. A recent analysis of data shows an influx of texting while driving increased substantially over the past five years. Meanwhile, reports indicate a simultaneous decrease in drivers charged with talking on a cell phone while driving. Nearly 50 percent of cell phone talking violations dropped since 2012.

It may be tempting to send a quick text or answer a call while in traffic. However, it is merely against the law in New York. Even vehicles caught in slow-moving traffic are liable for committing an offense when engaging in cell phone activity. This includes browsing the internet through your phone, viewing images, checking e-mail and more.

New York police say license plate reader led them to DUI suspect

A New York man was taken into custody on felony drunk driving charges on April 9 after an automated license plate reader alerted police that he was driving a vehicle with a suspended registration. The subsequent records check revealed that he had faced DUI charges twice during the last 10 years and his driver's license has been suspended 26 times. During an April 10 arraignment hearing in Long Beach, the man was transferred to the custody of the Nassau County Sheriff's Department. He is scheduled to appear in court again on April 16.

The man's vehicle was pulled over after officers with the Long Beach police Department received a notification from the city's "Ring of Steel" automated license plate monitoring system. The system, which uses cameras to scan license plates, alerts police when it identifies vehicles that have been involved in accidents, are stolen or were used to commit crimes. The system also helps law enforcement to deal with scofflaws by sending notifications about suspended registrations and unpaid fines.

New York teacher charged with DWI at elementary school

A New York teacher faces DWI charges after she allegedly reported to work after drinking alcohol. The 47-year-old woman was charged with the crime by a school resource officer at the Granville elementary school where she works.

The woman arrived for work at the school shortly after 8 a.m. on March 27. The school resource officer said that the woman, who teaches kindergarten, was staggering and smelled of alcohol. The officer then administered a breath test, which reportedly showed that the woman's blood alcohol content was 0.13 percent. Police said that they found a cup containing an alcoholic beverage in the woman's vehicle.

New York Jets linebacker facing multiple DWI charges

Dylan Donahue, who plays for the New York Jets, has had a difficult first year in the National Football League. The 25-year-old linebacker was selected in the fifth round of the 2017 NFL Draft due to his special teams and pass rushing prowess, but he suffered a season-ending elbow injury in just his fourth regular season game and he was taken into custody on drunk driving charges in February. Police say that Donahue was intoxicated when he allegedly drove into the Lincoln Tunnel against the flow of traffic and struck a bus.

Donahue faces the possibility of severe sanctions under the NFL's substance abuse policy, but media outlets have revealed that the Lincoln Tunnel incident was not the athlete's first drunk driving charge. According to reports, Donahue was taken into custody on DUI charges in Montana in May 2017 after being involved in a car accident. Police say that he failed a field sobriety test at the scene and a breath test determined that his blood alcohol level was .137 percent at the time of the crash.

Parents should understand junior permit and license restrictions

Learning how to drive is an exciting time for teens, but parents with teen drivers should take note of New York State driving restrictions for those with permits and junior licenses. New York has implemented restrictions for driving times and the number of passengers allowed to prevent teen accidents.

Although they may be driving with a provisional license, drivers with a learner permit or junior license can be charged with a traffic violation just like an adult.

Radar gun evidence can be challenged

People in New York may wonder whether it is possible to challenge allegations of speeding after being detected by a radar gun and receiving a traffic ticket. While it can be difficult to challenge the evidence provided by a radar gun to detect speeding, all devices used for measurement have flaws and weaknesses that can be addressed.

Two main technologies are frequently used in radar guns: radio waves or LIDAR, which is short for Light Detection and Ranging. Traditional radar guns direct radio signals to a vehicle and calculate its speed based on the changes to the signal when it returns to the gun after bouncing off the car. LIDAR operates similarly, but rather than relying on radio waves, it uses lasers.

New York plans statewide drunk driving crackdown

New York motorists may have particular reason to be aware of their alcohol consumption before getting behind the wheel between March 16 and March 18, as the state is planning a crackdown on drunk driving that coincides with St. Patrick's Day weekend. Coordinated by the New York State Police together with municipal law enforcement agencies and county sheriffs throughout the state, the police agencies announced that the STOP-DWI Crackdown is an attempt to reduce the number of injuries and deaths related to impaired driving.

The funds for the police actions on those days come from the STOP-DWI Foundation through the New York State Governor's traffic safety committee. It is one of a series of statewide drunk driving crackdowns and initiatives that are timed to coincide with holidays that are considered to be occasions for heavy drinking and large-scale partying. Similar events take place on Super Bowl weekend, the December holidays, Halloween, Labor Day weekend, the Fourth of July and Memorial Day.

New York woman facing felony DWI charges

A 28-year-old woman is facing child endangerment and felony drunk driving charges after police allegedly discovered her passed out behind the wheel of her Nissan Altima sedan during the early morning hours of Feb. 25 with her two children in the back seat. Officers with the Oneida Police Department took the woman into custody at about 3:35 a.m. in the vicinity of Lyons Street and West Willet Street in Rome according to reports.

The woman has been charged with multiple counts of aggravated driving while intoxicated and endangering the welfare of a child in addition to single counts of driving while impaired by drugs and operating a motor vehicle without a valid driver's license. Reports reveal that the woman was taken to a nearby police facility for processing, but they do not indicate what led officers to suspect that she was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Man taken into custody on drunk driving and other charges

New York police say that a 34-year-old man was taken into custody on March 25 at about 3 a.m. He was originally stopped by police around that time because he was speeding. However, authorities realized that the man was intoxicated and that he did not have a valid license. The driver's license had been suspended seven times in the past because of not paying tickets and breaking various alcohol laws.

The man was charged with a felony count of DWI as well as an aggravated count of unlicensed operation of a vehicle. He faced the felony DWI because of two previous convictions as well as a conviction for driving while impaired in the past decade. Furthermore, the unlicensed operation of a vehicle charge was upgraded because he was drunk while doing so. Authorities also charged the driver with not having an ignition interlock device in the vehicle.

New York prosecutor launches DWI rehabilitation program

Wearing an alcohol monitoring bracelet for 90 days and attending alcohol-related counseling and victim impact panels could help motorists in one New York county to keep their criminal records clean after being arrested for drunk driving for the first time. Participation in the program, which was launched by the Broome County District Attorney's Office in January, will only be offered to first-time DWI offenders who were not involved in accidents, caused no injuries and were not cited for reckless driving.

Participants will be expected to pay $8 per day for 90 days to cover the costs of the monitoring bracelets, which alert the authorities when alcohol is consumed. Reports indicate that 22 people have already enrolled. Upon successful completion of the program, the criminal charge of driving while intoxicated will be reduced to the traffic violation of driving while ability impaired. While participants are able to avoid a criminal record, the traffic violation will remain on their driving records for 10 years.

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