Alcohol is one of the most dangerous products to consume if you are planning on driving. It may limit your physical and mental abilities, which will in turn compromise your driving. For this reason, driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated, also known as DUI or DWI, is illegal.
According to the website of this Westchester DWI lawyer, the penalties, at least in Westchester, will depend on the circumstances of your arrest and your previous record. For example, a first offense can translate of up to 1 year in jail and $1,000 in fines, while a third offense up to 7 years and $10,000.
But what about the circumstances of your arrest? This means that there are factors that need to be considered to truly determine how severe the offense has been. Below are some of the most common factors to consider:
· Your blood alcohol content – The legal limit is at 0.08%, and the farther you are from the limit, the worse your offense will be
· Whether you have a child passenger or not – If you have an underage passenger, you are unnecessarily putting him at risk, so your case may be elevated into a worse one
· Whether there has been an injury or property damage – If your reckless behavior has resulted into the injury of another person or the damage of another’s property, your offense may be considered worse, especially if the other party is innocent
But the website of Truslow & Truslow mentions that, even if you are innocent, the justice system and law enforcement agencies may aggressively pursue harsh sentences in order to discourage others from engaging in drunk driving. So, trying to defend the charges may be a viable option. Below are just some of the possible defenses:
· Legality of stop – If you have been pulled over with no probable cause, anything in that pull over, including evidence, may be considered invalid
· Legitimacy of officer’s observation – You can question the officer’s conclusion that you are drunk, especially on instances where you are showing signs of intoxication even if you are not, like when you are just sleepy or fatigued
· Validity of tests – Tests can only be made if the arrest is valid and if the officers have given you enough information regarding them. Aside from validity, you can also question the tests’ results, maybe because of improper methods or defective tools