The most important thing to be aware of in a driving while intoxicated or impaired case is to reach out for your attorney as quickly as possible. Every case is different, and it is very time sensitive. In New York State, they have two hours within which to get the majority of their evidence. At any point during that time period, you should and must call your attorney so that he can walk you through the particular set of facts.
It could mean all the difference between being arrested for DWI or aggravated DWI, with significantly higher penalties. It could be all the difference with preventing them from getting the necessary evidence they for a successful prosecution, and therefore having to dismiss the case.
The ways that evidence can be acquired during that two-hour time span include field sobriety tests and chemical tests. There are three different types of approved field sobriety tests. The first field sobriety test is the walk and turn test. The second type of field sobriety test that may be administered when one is pulled over for suspicion of driving while intoxicated is the one leg test, where you have to stand on one leg for 20-30 seconds to analyze your ability to balance. Finally, the third type of field sobriety tests that police officers can administer when you are pulled over for suspicion of driving while intoxicated is the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, in which your eye movement is monitored to see if your eyes have the ability to make stable movements.
What many people do not realize is that in New York State, you are allowed to refuse to take any of the field sobriety tests with the penalty of merely a traffic ticket. These field sobriety tests are not very accurate and if you have specific health concerns that may hinder your ability to take a field sobriety test, that may be able to be used in your favor during court.
The other category of acquiring evidence is by means of a chemical test. Chemical tests are used to determine the amount of alcohol that is currently in your blood stream. The most common way that a chemical test is preformed is a breathalyzer test to determine what your blood alcohol content is. Another chemical test would be to do a blood test, but that process takes longer so it is less commonly used. If you decide to refuse to take a chemical test, you will automatically lose your license.
The best thing that you can do when you get pulled over on suspicion of driving while intoxicated is to contact your attorney as soon as possible. That’s why I’m available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It’s better to make the phone call and be certain, than not and be guilty.
If you are in need of legal counsel, please contact The Penichet Firm and we will be happy to assist you in your family and criminal law matters.