Home > Insights > DWI > Avoid Common DWI Mistakes

Avoid Common DWI Mistakes

by | Jun 26, 2020

Summer 2020 will undoubtedly be a historic one in New York. People have been pining for the opportunity to enjoy nice weather again, even against the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19). The limits of social distancing will be tested as gatherings resume. When there are parties, there may be alcohol. That can lead to driving while intoxicated (DWI).

It is illegal to drive in New York with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at or above 0.08%. That percentage is widely recognized as the point of definite impairment of muscle coordination and driving skills.

No one should ever drink and drive. But people unfortunately do, and New York police are looking for signs of DWI to keep neighborhoods safe and prevent injuries and deaths. Even if you were under the BAC limit when pulled over, each question asked and action taken by police is meticulously planned to have you incriminate yourself.

Every case is different. This is not legal advice and will not apply in every circumstance. Read on for some do’s and don’ts if pulled over for DWI:

  1. Be pleasant, accommodating, and safe. First, turn off your ignition but keep your hands on the wheel so that the officer sees it before he or she addresses you. It is safer to wait for the police to ask for your license and registration before you start looking through your bag or wallet. Then roll down your window to present your license, registration and insurance certificate. This will demonstrate a willingness to cooperate.
  2. Keep your answers short. Less is more – so stick to ‘yes’ and ‘no’ answers. When asked an open-ended question, try to keep that answer as concise as possible. You’ve heard that “anything you say can be used against you in a court of law,” and this is the moment for you to remember that warning.
  3. Know your rights and the consequences for refusing sobriety tests. Breathalyzer and field sobriety tests can be incredibly intimidating and tricky. You may be “impaired,” which comes with less severe consequences than being intoxicated. Refusing to take the test often results in a revocation of your license. If you are taken into custody, you may be required to participate in testing and refusing may result in a “resisting arrest” charge. The best strategy from that point is to take the breathalyzer test, since it is not as reliable as chemical or blood tests. The breathalzyer’s results are usually the easiest for a lawyer to defend against in court.

These tips may not prevent an arrest, but they can limit the state’s case against you. And remember, an arrest is not the end of your world. It is not the same as a conviction. Charges can be dismissed or pleaded down to lesser offenses, and jail can be avoided entirely – particularly if no injuries occurred.

A few basic facts to remember:

In the United States, one “standard” drink (or one alcoholic drink equivalent) contains roughly 14 grams of pure alcohol, which is found in:

  • 12 ounces of regular beer, which is usually about 5% alcohol
  • 5 ounces of wine, which is typically about 12% alcohol
  • 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits, which is about 40% alcohol

Additionally, coffee does not sober you up. It simply makes you more awake regardless of whether you are still inebriated. “I drank a large black coffee before I got behind the wheel” is not the basis for a successful defense.

To mitigate the effects of alcohol, drink water or non-alcoholic beverages between beverages. Try not to have more than one per hour if you absolutely must drive. Also try to make your last drink at least one hour before getting in a car. Theoretically, and depending on your weight, you may manage to keep your BAC under the legal limit.

These tips are certainly not relegated to the summer. DWI mistakes and related fatalities, injuries and property damage typically spike during the times surrounding any national holiday.

Police want to keep roadways safe. DUI arrests are a way for the state to expend minimum effort to generate sorely needed revenue. So if you cannot secure a ride home with a designated driver, know you are putting yourself and others at increased risk.

D’Emilia Law has defended against countless DWI charges and secured favorable results.
If you are arrested for a DWI or make a DWI mistake in New York, contact D’Emilia Law for a consultation.

man caught drunk driving
Marijuana DWAI

3 Important Things to Know About Marijuana DWAIs in New York

Many people are familiar with New York’s strict laws regarding driving under the influence of alcohol. However, it’s critical to be aware that the state also imposes harsh penalties on those who have been found guilty of driving under the influence of marijuana —...
DWI Mistakes

Common Mistakes to Avoid Making in Your DWI Case

A DWI is a serious matter in New York. While these situations can be stressful and overwhelming, many people are not sure what they should do or how they should proceed. Critically, there are certain mistakes that are commonly made which could impact your case and...
Impaired Driver Program

What is the New York State Impaired Driver Program?

A consequence of a DWI conviction in New York can be license suspension or revocation. Losing your license, even temporarily, can have a substantial impact on your life and livelihood. However, if you qualify for the Impaired Driver Program — formerly known as the...
DWI Attorney

5 Common Legal Defenses to DWIs in New York

A DWI is a serious criminal offense in New York that can come with life-changing penalties. If you’ve been charged with driving while under the influence of alcohol, it’s crucial to have an experienced DWI attorney who can fight the charges on your behalf. A skilled...

Can You Challenge the Results of a Breathalyzer Test?

If you’ve been pulled over on the suspicion that you were driving under the influence of alcohol, the police will likely ask you to take a breathalyzer test to determine your blood alcohol concentration (BAC). Under New York’s implied consent laws, a driver is...
Field Sobriety Test

Can a Driver Refuse a Field Sobriety Test in New York?

In a case where a driver is suspected of operating their vehicle under the influence of alcohol, a preliminary breath test isn’t the only test a police officer might ask to administer. Part of the arrest process may include conducting field sobriety tests. These types...

New York Launches “STOP-DWI Month” and “Don’t Drive High” Campaigns

New York State is notoriously tough on impaired drivers, and driving under the influence of alcohol or marijuana can result in serious legal consequences. Significantly, New York is cracking down on impaired driving with two new public awareness campaigns that were...

New York State Seeks to Implement Cannabis DWI Test

With the legalization of recreational marijuana in New York State, the New York State Department of Health is examining methodologies that can be used to detect cannabis-impaired driving. Unlike the technologies that can determine a person’s blood alcohol content in...

5 Common Myths and Misconceptions About New York DWIs

Being arrested for a DWI can be a stressful, scary, and overwhelming experience. Your liberty, reputation in the community, and professional standing are all on the line when you are facing drinking and driving charges. However, many people have various misconceptions...
DWI Cases

Use of Chemical Tests in New York DWI Cases

Chemical tests play a major role in DWI cases. Critically, there are typically three tests used in New York DWI cases to determine an individual’s blood alcohol content: blood tests, breath tests, and urine tests. While portable breath tests are commonly administered...