Did you know that New York state has one of the lowest rates of fatality’s caused by drunk drivers? Yet when the numbers are quoted they seem scary with around 1.7 million drivers but 31 million DWI related incidents each year (see here). Obviously these 31 million incidences range from minor fender benders, reversing over the neighbor’s garbage bins and right through to fatal injuries. The chance of being arrested before an accident actually occurring is estimated to be only 2% so driver education plays a very important role in reducing the incidences of DWIs in Albany.
If a driver is pulled over by the police and subsequently arrested for being over the legal limit for alcohol or drugs in their blood stream whilst driving, any fine they pay is given back to the county in which they were arrested. This means that the STOP-DWI is a self-sustaining program and they have been able to put more funds into driver education and focus on prevention rather than punishment.
The STOP-DWI foundation developed an app called “Have a Plan” which helps drivers that feel they may have had one too many or be impaired by alcohol find alternatives to driving drunk. Yet despite all the effort into educating and preventing people from driving impaired it still happens, and in 2017 302 police officers were trained in “Advanced Roadside Impaired Driver Enforcement”.
Who Drives Drunk?
The population of Albany is almost 100,000, and driver education is working, with almost 90% of people in New York state saying that they have not driven within two hours of drinking. Although there are exceptions to every rule: https://www.facebook.com/AlbanyNYPolice/posts/10157104749707381 Sometimes the penalty does not seem to be in proportion to the crime, which is also why it is important to ensure you have accurate legal representation.
Getting A DWI
So, despite the fact that the vast majority of us wouldn’t drive drunk, there is still a large number of people who are arrested each year in Albany, and across America, who are convicted with driving under the influence of alcohol. Each state sets its own limits as to what is an acceptable amount of alcohol to have in your blood system before being considered too drunk to drive. Often the amount will also depend on your license type, and age. Beginner drivers may encounter a 0.0% allowance.
If you are asked to undertake an alcohol breath test or coordination test by a police officer, and you fail, you will need to speak to a specialist DWI lawyer in Albany, NY as soon as you can. You do not need to say anything to the police officers other than to give your name and address. You do not need to try and make up an excuse or to justify yourself – that is your lawyer’s job, to try and work out why your test was failed and to minimize any consequences that may have devastating and lasting effects on your life.
What are the Consequences of DWI?
Although this will vary depending on many factors you can be facing up to 7 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. There is also the possibility that you will have your license revoked indefinitely – although normally a DWI charge will result in a one-year loss of license. https://dmv.ny.gov/tickets/penalties-alcohol-or-drug-related-violations
Most people are familiar with the idea of fines, suspension and prison as consequences of a conviction for driving while intoxicated, however they may not be prepared for the follow on consequences for other aspects of their lives. If they have a criminal conviction, even without a prison sentence, this can hinder employment options, possibly even resulting in dismissal from a current occupation if there is a caveat about criminal convictions in their employment contract. A criminal conviction may also prevent travel to many countries around the world, both those that strictly frown on alcohol consumption and those that have a very liberal drinking culture, it is the criminal conviction rather than the reason for it that is of concern when applying to enter another country.
If there is a history of alcohol abuse, drug abuse or a history of driving while intoxicated or otherwise impaired then this may go against the person if there are issues around marital or defacto relationships, and any custody concerns.