Do the Right Thing
It may seem obvious—don't drink and drive. If you have been drinking, there are ways to get you where you want to go that does not involve risking the lives of others and yourself. The Buffalo area has Uber, Lyft, and taxi services, as well as public transit; services that are available at any time 365 days a year. If you do not want to leave your car somewhere, there's even a local company that will drive you and your car home. The risk of driving under the influence comes at a high cost for you, your family, and those in your path. But there are some things that everyone should know when it comes to DUI DWI charges in New York.
When you are pulled over, you are required to give the officer your license and registration. The officer may then ask you if you have been drinking, you are not required to answer any questions during a traffic stop, however, you should be polite and courteous.
During a traffic stop, if the officer has suspicion that you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs, they may ask you to perform field sobriety tests. Field sobriety tests are physical, verbal, and mental tests that are administered with the belief that the officer conducting the tests would be able to discern if the person completing the tests is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. There are many things wrong with field sobriety tests and extraordinarily little that proves they are effective at discerning someone under the influence. What is important to know, is that you do not need to take field sobriety tests. There is no penalty for refusing to walk in a straight line or saying the alphabet. However, if you agree to a field sobriety tests, and you do anything out of the ordinary, lose your balance or stutter because you are nervous, the officer will use this against you.
You can refuse a breathalyzer test. However, in New York state, refusing a breathalyzer comes with consequences. If you are pulled over under the suspicion of driving under the influence and you refuse to submit to a breathalyzer, you will most likely be arrested, your license will be suspended for 6 months to 1 year, and you can face a $500 fine—this is all not including whatever other charges you may be faced with.
However, an Aggravated DWI, which is driving while your BAC is above .18, comes with much harsher penalties. Whatever decision you have made that caused you to get arrested, you will need an experienced Buffalo NY DWI Attorney.
When a person drinks, their BAC or Blood alcohol content can be “measured” with a breathalyzer. The sooner the person has had an alcoholic beverage, the higher the breathalyzer will “measure” the BAC as. We put the word measure in quotes because a breathalyzer test is not an accurate measurement of a person's true blood alcohol content or a test for impairment. There are large inconsistencies, and the machines must be calibrated often for them to be relatively accurate.
Police officers are trained to wait roughly fifteen minutes before administering the breathalyzer test to make sure that the results are not skewed by how recent the last alcoholic beverage was consumed. This pause is known as a “deprivation period,” and during this time the officer will make sure that the person under suspicion of DUI or DWI does not try to eat or drink anything or try to vomit.
The officer that pulls you over, must have a legal reason, or reasonable suspicion, to have pulled you over in the first place. If there is not a valid reason for the traffic stop, the stop is not legal, and all charges that transpired after the illegal stop could be dismissed in court.
Reasonable suspicion, which is different from probable cause, requires the officer to have coherent facts that a crime is about the be or has been committed to warrant a traffic stop. If you are not made aware of the reason you have been pulled over, you can politely and courteously ask the officer for the reason.
Know Your Rights
If you are facing DUI DWI charges you need help from an attorney with experience and a proven track record as a criminal defense attorney in Buffalo NY. If you are in a tough situation, it happens, but what you do next will affect the way the rest of your life unfolds. Hire representation that will take a personal interest in your case and see you through. At DuBois Law, we do not charge for a phone call. If you are facing DUI DWI charges give an experienced Buffalo NY DWI attorney, call DuBois Law.