If you have ever been pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving, you may have been asked to take a breath test. Typically administered by having you blow into a breathalyzer, which is an instrument used to determine your blood-alcohol content, the breath test gives law enforcement an idea of whether you consumed alcohol before getting behind the wheel, and if so, how much. While breathalyzers are believed by many to be highly accurate, they are not fool- proof, and breathalyzer errors have been known to occur. Given how high the stakes and how harsh the punishments are if you end up facing a charge of driving under the influence, it is important to understand the variables that may impact the accuracy of your breath test.
Lindsey Lohan's mother, Dina Lohan, was in the news this week when she was sentenced in her New York drunk driving case.
Earlier this week, it was reported that a New York City man was arrested for allegedly driving drunk with an infant in his car. He is facing very serious criminal charges for the offense. There are only two situations in New York in which prosecutors have the ability to charge you with an aggravated DWI, and this is one of them.
Drunk driving laws are very tough in New York. People often find themselves pulled over and being accused of driving while intoxicated when they feel like they are perfectly safe to drive. Some drivers even purchase personal breath test devices and read up on drunk driving laws so that they can get an idea of the point at which an officer might consider them legally intoxicated, because the legal standards seem somewhat arbitrary to them.
Last month, we discussed the controversy that has arisen regarding a federal roadside survey intended to gather information about drunk driving and drugged driving. The survey is facilitated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which has enlisted the help of both private contractors and local police departments. The contractors and police take motorists off of the roads across the country and ask them to provide blood samples, or breath or saliva samples. The goal of the survey is to learn how many Americans are driving drunk or while impaired by drugs, but motorists have complained that the methodologies are unconstitutional.
The Fourth Amendment protects U.S. citizens from unreasonable search and seizure. This means that the government does not have the right to search an individual or his or her property without consent or a warrant. There are certain exceptions to this rule, but in general the government may not intrude into the lives of citizens without probable cause.
Last month, we discussed a drunk driving case that was receiving national attention. The case involved a teenager who was sentenced to 10 years of probation, and no jail time, for multiple counts of intoxication manslaughter. In the aftermath of that controversial sentencing, people all over the country, including here in New York, have been discussing DWI sentencing standards.
The consequences for driving drunk in New York are severe. A conviction for a DWI can result in fines, a revoked driver's license, jail time and more. Nonetheless, New York state lawmakers think that the laws are not tough enough, and they are working to strengthen DWI penalties.
Many New York parents of teenagers might agree that their teens do not seem to understand that actions have consequences. There is something about the teenage years that leads a number of teens to demonstrate questionable judgment and test boundaries, even when they have been raised to know better. When they have not been taught the differences between right and wrong, the naive teenage years can be full of very poor decisions.
In New York, it is illegal to drive when one's blood-alcohol content is .08 percent or higher, and this can result in drunk driving charges. When marijuana is involved, however, there is no legally allowable amount. If any marijuana is detected in the bloodstream or urine at all, a driver may face consequences for driving while ability impaired. This is very problematic, because it is possible for traces of marijuana to remain detectable in a person's blood or urine days after the person smoked it.