So, you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), Driving under the influence (DUI) or similar charges. Chances are if you are stopped and suspected of DWI or DUI, within an average of sixteen minutes from being pulled over, you will be handcuffed and escorted to the backseat of the police car. Naturally, you have questions. What do I do now? Do I have a defense? Will I lose my job? Will I lose my license? Will I go to jail? Of course, the Law Office of Jonna M. Spilbor, located in Poughkeepsie NY, has answers. Attorney Jonna M. Spilbor, and her experienced staff, knows how to get the best possible results from the worst situations. When you’re in trouble and have been charged with DWI or DUI, the right lawyer is right here.
- Let’s get started: First, know this: DWI arrests can happen to anybody. They happen to the person who had 2 glasses of wine at dinner just as they happen to the driver who felt “fine” to drive after waiting a certain amount of time since their last drink. Also, know that we represent everyone equally. From doctors to teachers to truck drivers to stay at home moms, no one is immune for being arrested, and everyone deserves the best defense.
- Regardless of your individual circumstances, there are a few things every driver should know in the event they find themselves in this situation. View our “DWI Guide” to help answer some of your pressing questions.
TRUE OR FALSE: I must answer all of the questions asked of me once I am pulled over by police.
FALSE: Police are entitled to ask you basic “pedigree” information when you are stopped for a traffic violation, and you are required to answer as much. However, beyond that, you do not need to answer where you are going, where you are coming from or whether you’ve had anything to drink. In fact, if you were inclined to answer these questions (and people often do), chances are you will unwittingly provide the police officer with “evidence” that will later be used against you. It is best to remain respectful and SILENT. It is then in your best interest to contact a quality DWI lawyer. Contact Jonna Spilbor Law – Your DWI Defenders!
The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) created a short series of “tests” (not the written kind!) which NHTSA claims can determine the probability of intoxication. Law enforcement agencies have utilized the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs) to develop probable cause for arrest and as evidence to be used in the prosecution for drunk driving. Keep in mind, these so-called accurate indicators of alcohol intoxication must be administered in a standardized manner and, even then, can be quite inaccurate. For example, when you take your drivers test, how important is it that you can estimate thirty seconds while standing on one leg? Yet, police officers are trained to rely on SFSTs. Anytime an officer makes a mistake administering a SFST, an innocent person may be arrested and convicted. We don’t like this!
This question is about as easy to answer as, “What is the meaning of life?”
First, know this: in the state of New York, if you DO NOT take a chemical test (blood, breath or urine), your privilege to drive will be revoked for at least one year UNLESS you win what is known as a “refusal hearing”.
However, depending on the facts preceding and occurring during your stop, losing your driving privileges for a year may be a better choice than facing increased penalties for testing and having a high Blood Alcohol Content (BAC).
“To Blow Or Not To Blow” is a crucial issue for those who:
- Have a prior DWI conviction within the last ten years.
- Were involved in whether a personal injury or property damage accident immediately preceding the arrest.
- May, for whatever reason, register a very high BAC.
If ever you were in this position, it would be wise to seek the advice of lawyer to assist in making the decision. Keep in mind that rousing a lawyer from a sound sleep may not always be easy. IF YOU REFUSE TO TAKE A CHEMICAL TEST UNTIL YOU CAN SPEAK TO YOUR LAWYER, THIS TOO MAY BE DEEMED A REFUSAL.
Those who, for whatever reason, refuse to give a breath, blood or urine sample when under arrest for allegedly driving while intoxicated, are entitled to a hearing to determine whether the “refusal” was actually a refusal.
There are four, and only four, issues to be determined at a refusal hearing:
(1) Did the police officer have reasonable grounds to believe that such person had been driving in violation of any subdivision of [VTL § 1192]?
(2) Did the police officer make a lawful arrest of such person?
(3) Was such person given sufficient warning, in clear or unequivocal language prior to such refusal, that refusing to submit to such chemical test, or any portion thereof, would result in the immediate suspension and subsequent revocation of such person’s license or operating privilege whether or not such person is found guilty of the charge for which the arrest was made?
(4) Did such person refuse to submit to such chemical test or any portion thereof?
An ignition interlock is a device that requires a person to blow into a breath testing machine to not only start their car, but the driver must also blow intermittently while the car is in motion if he or she wants to keep it in motion!
The ignition interlock must be installed in any car owned or driven by a person who is convicted of a DWI.
The “IID” restriction will be noted on your license. If you get caught driving a vehicle without an IID, you will be arrested and charged with a crime.
Most courts in New York are requiring installation of the ignition interlock for MISDEMEANOR DWI convictions for six months or one year.
If the ignition interlock detects a blood alcohol concentration level of .025 or over it will not allow the car to start. And if your family member drives the car, he or she needs to blow too. And yes, mouthwash may keep you from getting to work.
I recently spoke with the program director of the IID program in Dutchess County who advised that there would soon be a “new and improved” IID available. It will actually be able to detect when someone other than the person with the conviction is behind the wheel so as to avoid those who live with the restricted driver from having to utilize the device. Gee, thanks Big Brother!