There are numerous defenses that can be raised to fight against a charge of driving while intoxicated (DWI) in New York state. While each case is different – and therefore calls for a different defensive strategy – there are some arguments that can be used more often than others.
Here are five of the most common defenses to DWI in New York.
Improper Traffic Stop
In nearly every case of DWI, police officers must have reasonable suspicion that an offense/crime has been committed to pull you over and initiate a traffic stop. A judge can suppress evidence, such as statements made by the driver, field sobriety test results (FST), and blood alcohol content (BAC) test results if the police had no legal basis to stop your motor vehicle. The suppression of such evidence will make it unlikely that the prosecutor can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were DWI.
Inaccurate Field Sobriety Test
One way for police to gather evidence of DWI is through FST. There are three standardized FST and they are the horizontal gaze nystagmus, walk and turn, and one leg stand. These tests, even when administered properly (which does not always happen), have a fairly high rate of error and can produce false positive results. If the test results can be effectively challenged then the arrest and all evidence obtained after the arrest can be deemed to be inadmissible.
Inaccurate or Miscalibrated Breath Test
A breathalyzer machine is designed to measure a person's BAC from a breath sample. If we can establish that the machine was not properly calibrated or that an improper conversion rate was used we can challenge the test results. Medical issues such as diabetes, acid reflux disease, and dental irregularities can cause a false positive high BAC reading. An experienced DWI defense attorney can raise these arguments to protect your rights.
Chain of Custody for Samples
Blood alcohol tests are deemed to be more reliable than breathalyzer test results. However, even blood alcohol test results can be effectively challenged. For instance, if the prosecutor is unable to establish a complete chain of custody for the blood sample that was taken, we can argue that the BAC reading is unreliable. An effective DWI-defense lawyer can raise this argument to protect your rights.
In New York, you can be accused of DWI even if you refused to take a chemical test. If the arresting officer testifies that you seemed intoxicated, it can be grounds for an arrest and criminal charge.
If this is the case, challenging the officer's testimony about how you were acting can be an effective defense that protects your rights.
DWI-Defense Lawyer in the Hudson Valley
If you have been pulled over, arrested, and accused of DWI in New York state or the Hudson Valley, you need legal assistance. Contact the Law Office of Kenneth Puig online.