Dina Lohan is facing a charge of driving while intoxicated after allegedly leaving the scene of an accident on the evening of Jan. 11. The crash took place in the parking lot of a New York mall according to media reports. Lohan, who is the mother of actress Lindsay Lohan, allegedly refused to submit to a breath test when confronted by police officers at her Long Island home. She entered not guilty pleas to the charges against her during a Jan. 11 arraignment hearing.
When assessing a driver for drunk driving, a law enforcement officer may use any number of tools to determine if an arrest is warranted. They may ask a driver to blow into a breathalyzer or they may use observational assessments to determine if the driver is impaired. These assessments are known as field sobriety tests and they generally involve several standardized assessments.
When they have pulled over a driver on suspicion of drunk driving, police have several ways of collecting evidence to show that a driver was intoxicated. They write up a report in which they document their observations, including the words and actions of the driver, whether they smelled alcohol on the driver's breath, and how the driver performed simple tasks, such as walking a straight line. But some of the most effective evidence they gather is the result of a blood alcohol concentration, or BAC, test. An adult whose BAC is 0.08% or higher is legally too drunk to drive.
New York's drunk driving laws impose harsh penalties for a first offense, but they get much harsher if the driver offends again. A repeat offense doesn't mean just another offense within a year or two; the time period covered can be 25 years or even more.
Vehicle accidents are a common cause of death for young people between the ages of 15 and 20, and in an effort to make driving safer for individuals in this age bracket, many states have adopted zero tolerance laws. Our state has a zero tolerance law in place that criminalizes the presence of practically any alcohol in the system of an underage driver. The idea behind these laws is that by penalizing drunk driving in young people, fewer drunk driving accidents involving teens will occur.
The Fourth of July is a celebratory time of year when New Yorkers come together with their families and friends for food, fun, and fireworks. As they celebrate the independence of the nation, partygoers may indulge in tasty treats and special drinks. When they decide that it is time to head home from their gatherings, they should be aware that someone may be watching.
The state of New York takes drunk driving seriously and imposes significant penalties on individuals accused and convicted of driving with alcohol in their systems. It is important that drivers understand the laws if they are charged with drunk driving, but this blog does not provide legal advice and readers are asked to discuss their own cases with their personal attorneys.
One of the consequences that a New Yorker may face if they are convicted of drunk driving is the loss of their license. A license may be suspended, which is a temporary loss of one's driving privileges, or it may be revoked, which effectively terminates a person's driving privileges. When a person is convicted of an alcohol-based driving crime, it is not unusual for them to lose their driving privileges for at least some length of time. If a person is charged with drunk driving more than once, the length of time that they may lose their license may increase.
As some readers may not know, field sobriety tests are physical assessments that law enforcement officials implement to determine if drivers are operating their vehicles while intoxicated. Many jurisdictions, including New York, use several standardized tests to examine drivers' sobriety and, despite the relative common application of these assessments, mistakes are sometimes made. When problems arise in the field sobriety testing process, individuals may be wrongly accused of driving while drunk.
We’ve been looking in recent posts at the topic of texting while driving, and the proposal to allow police officers to use devices giving them the ability to search drivers’ phones to determine whether they were texting prior to an accident. As we noted, there are privacy concerns with this proposal.