Jump To Navigation

Riverhead DUI/DWI Defense Law Blog

Long Island woman facing drunk driving charges accepts deal

It appears that the drunk driving case against Dina Lohan, the mother of Hollywood actress Lindsay Lohan, may be coming to an end. Specifically, Dina Lohan recently pleaded guilty to the charges of speeding and aggravated driving while intoxicated. 

Under New York law, the charge of aggravated DWI may result when an individual’s BAC level is .18 or more. To account for that degree of alleged intoxication -- more than twice the legal limit of .08 -- the penalties implicated by an aggravated misdemeanor DWI conviction are more severe. In practical terms, that can mean longer jail time and probation, larger fines, and a longer period of driver’s license revocation. It may also require a convicted criminal defendant to install an ignition interlock in his or her car.

New York man arrested for driving while ability impaired

A New York driver was recently sentenced to an 18-year prison sentence for allegedly driving while ability impaired. The DWAI charge related to the man’s alleged purported heroin use.

According to local authorities, the man ran his pickup truck through a red light, colliding into the side of another car. Unfortunately, the crash victim did not survive her injuries, and she was pronounced dead at the scene. Authorities claim they found a small amount of heroin on the man when they arrived. 

Questionable strategy involved in breath test refusal

Readers may know that an arrest for driving while ability impaired is possible even if a driver’s blood alcohol content is below the legal limit of .08 percent. Such a charge may not constitute a felony, however.

Although the law draws a bright line for the legal blood alcohol content level, readers may not realize that prosecutors may have some discretion over the charges that are brought against an individual accused of driving while intoxicated. Depending on the circumstances, even a first drunk driving offense might result in felony DWI charges. For an individual arrested for DWI within a certain number of years, a second drunk driving offense might even implicate felony charges.

Teenagers' drinking and driving habits may be peer influenced

Parents may sometimes complain that their teenagers listen to their friends instead of taking their parents’ advice. For that reason, finding a peer group that is a positive influence can be very important. According to a recent study, this is especially true in the case of driving while intoxicated.

In the study, researchers followed a national sample of around 2,500 tenth grade students through their senior year. Researchers conducted at least three surveys, where they asked teens if they had been passengers in vehicles were the driver had been impaired from either alcohol or illegal drug use. After the students reached the 12th grade, researchers then questioned whether the students themselves had driving impaired in the past 30 years. Based on the data, previous exposure to impaired driving greatly influenced a teenager’s decision to model that behavior.

Suffolk County leads the state in drunk driving crashes

A recent drunk driving statistic may surprise readers. According to an I-Team analysis, Suffolk County outpaced all other counties in the state for alcohol-related motor vehicles between 2010 and 2012. 

That data may seem hard to believe, considering the nightlife associated with New York City and its surrounding boroughs. However, records indicate that there were 3,561 alcohol-related crashes in Suffolk County, whereas the most accident-prone New York City borough, Brooklyn, had only 1,728 crashes.

Lawmakers question procedures of drunk driving survey

Readers of this drunk driving defense blog know that there can be both administrative and criminal hearings arising from an arrest for driving while intoxicated.

At the administrative hearing, a driver may have to defend against an automatic suspension of his or her license. At the criminal hearing, the penalties could be either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on whether the alleged conduct resulted in an accident or injury to another person, as well as a defendant’s previous criminal history.

Profile of a successful drugged driving defense at trial

As a follow-up to our recent post about Kerry Kennedy’s drugged driving trial, the defendant’s own reactions to her successful misdemeanor defense are notable.

As a preliminary matter, the distinction between criminal and civil liability should be noted. Kennedy admitted to mistakenly taking a sleeping pill before the afternoon accident, believing it to be her thyroid medication. The pill apparently had a dramatic effect on her ability to drive. According to eyewitnesses, Kennedy swerved for several miles before sideswiping another vehicle. When police arrived on the scene, they found Kennedy slumped over the wheel.

Evidentiary defenses to drugged driving charges

Safety advocates may argue that driving under the influence of drugs can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. However, the interpretation of any criminal evidence might be different.

For example, a blood test may detect the presence of substances long after the individual actually took them. Unlike alcohol, which the liver oxidizes at a relatively fast rate, certain drugs may remain in a person’s system for much longer periods. Yet prosecutors may not draw that distinction when pressing charges for driving while ability impaired, which is the drug equivalent of drunk driving under New York law.

Drunk driving and license suspension

Going out for a few drinks with coworkers or friends at the end of the workweek is a ritual for many Long Island residents. The opportunity to sleep in and have a respite from weekday commuting may seem like a safety net. However, a recent article cautions that even driving with a hangover might be dangerous.

The article described the results of a recent study of 47 adults. Researchers rated the driving abilities of each participant on two separate occasions: once sober, and once with a hangover. According to the researchers, those participants driving with a hangover exhibited impairment levels approximating the effects of alcohol at a blood concentration level of 0.05 percent.

Drunk driver tries to destroy evidence after arrest

Although the following story didn't happen here in New York -- or anywhere in the United States, for that matter -- it still highlights the negative perception people have of drunk driving charges, and why it is so important to fully defend yourself against any such charge.

A 49-year-old man in Italy was arrested for drunk driving, and the police received two positive results for the man's intoxication. The man didn't believe them and asked to see the evidence, which he then tore into pieces and consumed. Eating the evidence only hurt the man further, though. The DUI charge stuck and he received another charge for resisting a public official. 

Do You Have A Case?

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.