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New York DWI Lawyer: Protecting Your Legal Rights

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Driver pulled over for drunk driving on Long Island.

In New York, the legal blood alcohol content (“BAC”) for driving an automobile is 0.08%, or about two drinks, on average.  Various factors can affect your BAC, such as body weight, whether you have eaten prior to or while drinking, and the length of time since consuming alcohol.  When you get pulled over, it may be difficult to predict your current BAC.  That is why the best strategy is to contact an experienced DWI lawyer in New York if you get pulled over or arrested in New York, even if you are from out of state.

What to do when stopped by a police officer?

Being pulled over on suspicion of DWI is not only time consuming and stressful, but also requires some important decisions to be made quickly.  As such, it is crucial to have a plan so you know what to do in the event you are pulled over and suspected of being intoxicated, as follows:

  • Be safe. As with all traffic stops, find a safe place to pull over.  Do not make sudden movements and place your hands on the steering wheel for the officer to see.
  • Be polite. The officer is the person who will be writing a report to be used in court.
  • If you are asked to complete a sobriety field test or a handheld breathalyzer: Our advice to clients would be to state the following: “If I am not under arrest then I am not taking or performing any tests. If I am under arrest and I am required to take a chemical test, then I opt for one which will not destroy the entire sample but will save a portion for retesting, however I am not waiving my 4th amendment rights”.
  • Do not consent to a search of your person or your vehicle. If the officer has a legal basis to search, he/she will not ask for your consent.  If you are arrested, your vehicle will be subject to a search.
  • Do not resist. It is best to politely comply with all commands given to you by the officer, such as getting out of your vehicle when requested, even if you believe you are innocent.
  • Take notes. Make mental observations, notes, or voice recordings of details such as the officer’s badge number, what was said to the officer, and what they said to you.
  • Remain silent. You must give your name and address. Other than that, actively invoke your right to remain silent (and then remain silent).  You want to avoid making any incriminating statements.
  • Request an attorney. Actively invoke your right to speak with a DWI attorney during any questioning, remain silent, and contact our office as soon as possible.  It would be best to carry our number with you either in your phone, your vehicle or your wallet. We are available 24 hours daily to assist you.

Contact the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP.

If you or a family member have been involved in a DWI traffic stop, contact the experienced DWI attorneys at the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP either by phone at (516) 359-6900 or online at www.cohenjaffe.com  immediately. We can help.

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