When you are having fun with friends drinking, time can pass quickly and it can be difficult to know when you have had too much to drink. You might feel like you are sober enough to drive. But if you are pulled over, you may find that you are over the limit.
The holidays are the time for celebration and meeting up with old friends and family. These celebrations, however, can take a bad turn if you drink and drive. Whether you are getting together with family at a party or escaping family events to hang out with friends at a bar, be careful if you drink before getting behind the wheel.
New York State Police are increasing patrols this holiday weekend. Starting today and lasting until Sunday, you can expect to see more police on the roads and DWI checkpoints.
Over Labor Day, New York State Police were out in force to catch drunk drivers. If you were pulled over and arrested for DWI over the holiday weekend or at another time, you have options and rights under the law.
Many people know that a conviction for drunk driving can result in serious penalties. You could owe fines, fees, spend time in jail and lose your license. However, many individuals do not know that a drunk driving conviction can limit their ability to travel abroad.
A New York man who was on parole for a felony drug trafficking conviction crashed his vehicle into a utility pole. Police say the man was intoxicated. He was taken to Saint Francis Hospital in Poughkeepsie where he consented to a blood test and was charged with driving while intoxicated. The man is a convicted felon who was sentenced to eight years to life in state prison after he was found guilty of possessing more than three ounces of cocaine in 2003. The man had also served prison sentences in the United States and Mexico for drug trafficking convictions. He is now facing DWI charges at the Town of Pleasant Valley Justice Court.
On March 12, a 26-year-old man received a prison sentence for seven years after he lost control of his vehicle while impaired in July 2012 and drove into and killed a 56-year-old construction worker in New York. The driver operated his Audi after he spent three hours drinking with friends. Law enforcement who responded to the scene could smell alcohol and noticed his bloodshot eyes. According to information released by officials, the driver was traveling eight miles over the posted speed limit. However, he did not plead guilty to felony drunk driving but to second degree vehicular manslaughter. The district attorney felt that the sentence, which was the longest prison term the accused man could legally receive, was warranted because of the circumstances surrounding the crime. The construction worker's daughter agreed although she realizes no sentence of any length will bring her father back. However, she added that the stiff penalty will send a stern warning that drunk driving will be punished and that other drivers might think twice before getting behind the wheel after they have partied. She hopes that someone else will not suffer the way her family has.
A 58-year-old South Salem man was arrested on February 24 after being pulled over for suspected drunk driving. After being arrested on charges of driving under the influence of alcohol, the man could face serious penalties if convicted. The man was traveling south down New Norwalk Road in the early evening hours, and he was pulled over by a police officer after turning onto Urban Street. The police officer, who was equipped with radar, alleges that the man was traveling faster than the posted speed limit. The officer stated that when he approached the man's car, there was a strong aroma of alcohol. The man complied with the officer's request to perform a field sobriety test. After performing the test, the police officer determined that the man failed the test and placed him under arrest. The man was taken to jail and later posted a $260 bond. He was scheduled to appear in court on March 8.
While some people in Dutchess County may believe that a drunk driving conviction is relatively minor, they may not understand just how serious of a charge it can really be. Not only will a conviction mean a permanent record, but it could also mean the loss of a driver's license, a fine or even jail time. For someone under the age of 21, however, the consequences are even more serious.
Underage drinking is a serious concern for many parents, police officers and establishments that sell alcohol. It can be bad enough when adults drive while intoxicated, but a person under the age of 21 who is driving drunk can be potentially more dangerous. Underage drinking also has many negative consequences that can shatter a strong educational future. The following story about one area's efforts to stop alcohol sales to minors may interest readers in Poughkeepsie.