While a Breathalyzer test can accurately report the amount of alcohol in a person's system (allowing police to determine a driver's level of intoxication), there hasn't been a roadside test available for detecting marijuana or other drugs. Scientists across the nation have been working for years to develop such a test for marijuana that goes beyond the usual behavioral indicators police tend to look for in someone who is intoxicated.
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?
The future of a Wappinger Falls teenager could be in serious question after an alleged hit-and-run accident.
New York residents may be interested to hear that the Supreme Court ruled that DUI blood tests administered without a warrant may not be considered in court rulings. Furthermore, it decreed that police usually must attempt to obtain a search warrant from a judge before ordering blood tests for suspects of drunk driving. The verdict stemmed from the case of a Missouri man who was subjected to a blood test without a warrant. The man was arrested in Cape Girardeau County, Missouri, on a charge of drunk driving after a state trooper stopped his car for swerving and speeding. The man had two previous drunk driving convictions and refused to submit to a blood alcohol test. He failed numerous field sobriety tests, and the arresting officer said that his words were slurred and that he was very unsteady on his feet.
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.
A DWI charge can result in penalties that include fines, potential jail time, and the loss of your driver's license. A drunk driving conviction can also threaten your job in some professions, such as law enforcement.
A DUI conviction can have serious consequences, including social repercussions, prison, fines and loss of license. If additional charges such as reckless endangerment or vehicular assault are filed, the stakes are even higher. Those facing drunk driving charges should be aware of their rights under the law.
When a car accident with suspected alcohol involvement results in serious injuries, there can be serious legal repercussions. This is especially true if the injuries lead to a fatality. Drunk driving charges can result in loss of license, prison and social stigma. For that reason, it is important that those accused are aware of their options.