One of the first questions that our Westchester DWI defense attorneys are asked is, why was I issued two separate tickets each charging me with DWI under different sections of the NY Vehicle and Traffic Law (“NY VTL”) even though I was only stopped once?
The short answer to that question is that is standard practice in Westchester County. Both local police and New York State Troopers will typically issues tickets under NY VTL Sections 1192(2) and 1192(3).
The longer answer is not really all that more complicated; however, it is important for anyone arrested and charged with DWI in Westchester County, NY to understand the answer to this initial and basic question.
First, let’s turn to the law. Under New York Law, Section 1192, titled “Operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs”, or what we call “DWI”, reads as follows:
Section 2. Driving while intoxicated; per se. No person shall operate a motor vehicle while such person has .08 of one per centum or more by weight of alcohol in the person's blood as shown by chemical analysis of such person's blood, breath, urine or saliva, made pursuant to the provisions of section eleven hundred ninety-four of this article.
Section 3. Driving while intoxicated. No person shall operate a motor vehicle while in an intoxicated condition.
In other words, you may be prosecuted for DWI if you drive and have a blood alcohol concentration of .08 BAC or higher (if you possess a Commercial License that number falls to .04 BAC or higher). BAC means blood alcohol concentration and is usually determined by a breath test administered at the police station or by a chemical test of a driver’s blood, urine or saliva. Quite simply, basis for charging someone with DWI under section 1192(2) is based on science as determined by the chemical analysis.
Under section 1192(3) you may also be prosecuted for DWI if there is other evidence of intoxication independent of the chemical analysis. Lawyers will sometimes refer to this evidence as common law factors but they are simply observations made by the police at the time of the stop. These observations often include:
- Odor of alcoholic beverages on your breath
- Slurred speech
- Difficulty standing
- Difficulty walking
- Glassy Eyes
- Inability to walk a straight line
- Inability to say the alphabet or count from 1 to 10
- Failure of the Gaze Nystagmus Test
Once you are arrested and charged with DWI, regardless of the section of law, it is important to recognize that under New York Law, it is a criminal misdemeanor offense. Possible sentences may include jail, probation, fines and surcharges, loss of your driver’s license for at least 6 months, the installation of an interlock device to start your car for at least 12 months, and various other conditions depending on the circumstances.
To learn more, please contact the DWI attorneys at Riebling & Payton, PLLC. We are available 24/7 to answer your questions and prepared to immediately help you protect your rights, interests and driver’s license. Please fill out our online contact form or call us at (914) 712-6878.