Driving while under the influence of alcohol is a serious crime. Not only can it result in far-reaching penalties, such as a large fine and time in jail, but it also greatly increases the risk of an accident.
New York State Police troopers charged a truck driver with drunk driving after an accident on the Wantagh State Parkway in East Meadow on March 8. Police say that the 29-year-old Georgia man hit an overpass at the Hempstead Turnpike while driving southbound in his tractor-trailer. The accident was reported at around 10:40 p.m.
Drunk driving remains a major problem across the United States with approximately 29 people dying in alcohol-related crashes each day around the nation. However, a combination approach has helped many cities in New York drive DUI arrests down.
A 32-year-old man is facing a raft of charges including a count of felony drunk driving after allegedly fleeing the scene of a traffic stop on the New York State Thruway on the night of Jan. 24. The Syracuse resident is also charged with operating an unlicensed vehicle after a records check revealed that the license plates on his car were stolen. He is being detained at the Onondaga County Justice Center and is scheduled to be arraigned in the Town of Van Buren Justice Court.
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.