DWI and DUI in New York: New York Vehicle and Traffic Law §1192.3

Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) and Driving Under the Influence (DUI) charges are very common on Long Island and within certain areas of Nassau County and Suffolk County. Police task forces are often out looking for these types of offenses.

A DWI arrest can start with a patrol car noticing a vehicle slightly swerving in a lane of traffic. Failing to signal could also arouse the officer’s suspicions. Even a broken taillight can often be the reason for a stop. Once a police officer has a legitimate reason to stop the vehicle in question, he will attempt to pull the vehicle over.

Once pulled over, there are a number of ways the initial reason for the traffic stop could possibly lead to a suspected DUI/DWI arrest. It’s not uncommon for a police officer to ask the driver, “Have you been drinking alcohol recently?” The driver can say “No”, in which case the officer can either take him at his word, or the officer can ask the driver to step out of the vehicle. The officer could also ask about recent alcohol drinking and the driver might say “Yes, I had two glasses of wine”.

After asking the driver to step out of the vehicle, sobriety tests can be undertaken which may include a breathalyzer. If the driver fails the field sobriety test or breathalyzer, he or she is placed under arrest and is generally charged with New York Vehicle and Traffic Law (VTL) 1192.2 and 1192.3 which is considered a misdemeanor. If a driver refuses a breathalyzer test, he or she will only be charged with the 1192.3 misdemeanor. Refusing a chemical test in New York will result in a $500 civil penalty and your license will be revoked for at least one year.

In addition, if you refuse to take a breath test or chemical test, the DMV will require you to pay an annual driver responsibility assessment of $250 for three years. The total assessment for the three years is $750. For further details on refusing a breath test, see our page titled “Refusing a Breath Test or Chemical Test”.

Navigating the criminal justice system can be difficult. Don’t go through this process alone. Let us lead you through this nerve-wracking process and represent you and your rights. Our firm has vast experience handling DWI and DUI violation cases in Nassau County and Suffolk County.

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