If you are among the majority of New York drivers, you might not have noticed anything different out on the state's roads in the past week. Then again, if you pride yourself on being an attentive driver, you might have noticed that there were a lot more flashing lights from law enforcement vehicles.
It might not result in you being charged with driving under the influence, but is it worth the risk? Considering how tough penalties can be under New York law for a drunk driving conviction, certainly not.
An arrest for alleged drunk driving is not something that should be taken lightly. If the authorities allege aggravating circumstances, as might be allowed under the provisions of New York's Leandra's Law, the implications become even more serious. Consulting with an attorney is recommended in either case to be sure you know your rights.
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.
A 47-year-old man was taken into police custody on Dec. 15 after he allegedly drove a snow plow while intoxicated. Police reports state that the Buffalo man drove the plow into a building at Arden Avenue and Bailey Avenue and then into a cab driver at Kay Street and Eggert Road at about 5 a.m. The cab driver was taken to the hospital for the treatment of a broken hand.
A 37-year-old New York man is facing drunk driving charges after causing two accidents on Nov. 15. The man fled the scene of both accidents, but Suffolk County police tracked him down after receiving a call from two witnesses who had followed his SUV. The accidents took place in the town of Brentwood.
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.
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.