What Are DUI Laws in New York?

DUI laws in New York are complex, and a conviction can attract hefty penalties. Even if you’re not part of an auto accident, you can face severe penalties if a police officer finds you driving under the influence. Your duty as a responsible citizen is to avoid driving after drinking alcohol or using drugs.

However, you might still find yourself on the wrong side of the law for various reasons. If you’re arrested for a DUI, criminal defense lawyers in Long Island advise that you don’t resist the arrest, but instead, do the following:

  • Pull over
  • Be calm
  • Remain polite
  • Only provide minimal information
  • Only take a sobriety test at the police station
  • Record everything you can remember
  • Hire a DUI attorney to help you fight the charges

How Can I Defend Myself Against DUI Charges?

Skilled attorneys from a Long Island DWI and DUI defense law firm can provide legal counsel on the approaches to challenge DUI charges in New York. While some are pre-trial defenses you can use in a hearing before trial, others are trial defenses you bring up to the jury at trial.

The Police Pulled Me Over for No Reason

Under the Fourth Amendment, the police must have a valid reason for pulling you over. If you believe the police didn’t have a good reason to arrest you, you can legally challenge the stop. If your attorney successfully shows why the stop was illegal, the court will dismiss all other evidence against you.

A police officer must have a reasonable belief that you have committed, are committing, or about to commit a crime, in this case, driving under the influence. Alternatively, they must demonstrate probable cause that you committed a traffic violation.

Breathalyzer Test Inaccuracy

DUI breath tests are the most common way to test blood alcohol concentration (BAC). However, the tests are not always accurate as they measure the breath alcohol and multiply it by a “partition ratio” to estimate the BAC. The devices assume a ratio of 1:2100 of alcohol in the exhaled breath to alcohol in the blood.

The ratio can sometimes be higher depending on sex, body weight, temperature, and breathing patterns. The device’s margin error, improper calibration, and poor police maintenance of the breathalyzer device can also give a false impression of your BAC. Skilled DWI and DUI lawyers serving in Nassau County and Suffolk County can use these arguments to defend you.

Showing a DUI Test Refusal Charge is Wrong

If the police ask you to take a breath test at the side of the road after pulling you over, you have a right to refuse to take the test. However, refusing to take the test has the risk of being charged with a refusal offense. Refusing a breath test is not a crime if you have a valid medical excuse.

There are several reasonable excuses you could use as a defense to refuse the test, which is why the specific details of your arrest are crucial in fighting and winning a DUI charge. For example, some medical conditions can make it difficult to exhale with force or in the methods required for the breathalyzer device.

Experienced lawyers from a reputable DWI and DUI defense law firm in Long Island can analyze the details of your arrest and find that the refusal offense charge was not valid. With the strict requirements for the portable roadside breath test device and the larger breathalyzer machine at the station, your lawyers can find loopholes to use in your defense to invalidate the charge.

A Police Officer’s Failure to Read Your Miranda Rights

You’re entitled to Miranda Rights, the warnings that police officers issue upon arresting someone and when they’re about to question them. Without a Miranda warning, nothing you say in response to an officer’s questioning can be used against you as evidence in court.

Additionally, if the police obtain any evidence because of questioning you after violating the Miranda rules, the collected evidence shall not be allowed in court. This is based on the principle is the fruit of the poisonous tree, and your DUI defense attorney can fight to keep everything you said out of court.

Inaccurate Field Sobriety Test

If the police bring a DUI charge against you, claiming that you failed a field sobriety test, you can challenge the charge based on the test results. If you have ever taken a field sobriety test, you know how hard it can be to pass, even when sober, leave alone when intoxicated.

Your Long Island DWI and DUI defense lawyers can quote the following as reasons for innocent test failures:

  • Poor balance
  • Shoes or clothes that interfered with the tests
  • Bad lighting or uneven surface conditions
  • Poor coordination or non-athleticism
  • Police intimidation

DUI with No Proof of Driving

DUI laws in New York allow police officers to arrest you for DUI if they find you with a BAC level above the legal limit, even if you were not driving at the time of the arrest. However, you can challenge the charge by saying you were not driving when you were arrested and had no intention to drive.

The argument could especially be helpful if you were in the passenger’s seat and the car keys were not in the ignition. The burden of proof would lie with the prosecutor as they would be required to show the validity of the DUI charge. Aggressive criminal defense attorneys in Long Island can fight to get you off the charges if there’s no proof you were caught driving.

Skillfully Challenge Your DUI Charge With the Help of a Legal Professional

Fighting DUI charges in New York requires the skill and experience of an aggressive lawyer from a DWI and DUI defense law firm in Long Island. DUI laws are strict, and a conviction could expose you to hefty fines and possible jail time, depending on the severity of the charge.

Let our DUI and DWI defense lawyers provide the legal counsel and representation you need during this challenging time. Your past mistakes should not define your future, and we can fight for the most favorable outcome in your case. Contact the Mirsky Law Firm at 516-299-6187 or 718-412-8322 to schedule a case assessment.