Drivers arrested for DWI in New York are required to submit to a blood,
breath or chemical test under the state's implied consent laws. Those
who refuse the test will automatically receive a suspension of their driver's license.
Many motorists arrested for DWI are unsure whether or not they should take
the test. They are concerned about the impact that this could have on
their case if the results show they have a blood-alcohol content of 0.08
percent or higher. There is a case being heard in the New York Court of
Appeals that may have an impact upon the administration of these tests
in certain situations.
In this particular case, a motorist was involved in an accident that resulted
in the death of a pedestrian. Police on the scene suspected the motorist
of being impaired, and she was arrested. The woman's family was notified,
and they hired an attorney for her. While this was happening, the woman
was asked if she would submit to a breath test, and she agreed.
One minute after the motorist agreed to this test, her attorney called
the station. The attorney directed the officers to stop all questioning
and testing being performed, but, this information was not relayed to
the motorist. Nearly ten minutes later, the test was administered.
The woman challenged the actions of law enforcement, and lower courts agreed
with her assertion that she should have been informed of her lawyer's
advice. The earlier decision stated that the police had not demonstrated
why the procedures should have been allowed to continue after the attorney
spoke to the officers.
The prosecution is contending that the woman gave her consent, and that
she failed to revoke it despite an opportunity to stop the procedure from
going forward. They also believe that the time period between these accidents
and the tests forces them to act quickly to preserve evidence in DWI cases.
A ruling is expecting sometime in May.
In addition to this case, there is pending legislation that could require
motorists to subject to blood or breath tests in these types of cases.
If the new bill passes, these tests would be mandatory in cases where
sufficient injuries or death result after a crash caused by a motorist
believed to be under the influence. This could lead to very serious charges
for these individuals, and may make it tough to defend themselves against
If you have been charged with a DWI-related offense, you need to speak
to an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. New York
is constantly making its DWI penalties more severe, and each conviction
that you receive could lead to much stronger punishments.
Before you plead guilty, you need to know what you can do to offer a strong
defense to these accusations. It is extremely important to examine the
actions of law enforcement officers at the scene to determine if they
violated your constitutional rights in any way. Once you know more about
your options, you can focus on making the best decision for your future.