DWI Faqs

New York City DWI FAQs

If I was stopped only for a minor traffic violation, can this give the officer probable cause to charge me with a DWI?

For the accused, the unfortunate answer is YES.

Legally, the original reason the officer stopped you need not be related to driving while intoxicated from alcohol or drugs. In fact, routine stops for broken taillights, out-dated registration or even cracked windshields have been upheld across the country as sufficient cause for officers to detain individuals and then to check symptoms for driving under the influence. In any given case, however, there may be grounds to have the case dismissed by the filing of a motion to suppress the evidence based upon an initial bad stop. New York City DWI attorney Paul D. Petrus, Jr. will vigorously scour the facts in your case to find just such a reason.

What are the symptoms that an officer looks for to determine if I have been drinking?

Symptoms may include:

Odor of alcohol on breath or person
Red, watery or bloodshot eyes
Slurred speech
Failure to respond to the officer’s directions
Fumbling with wallet to get license and/or registration
Staggering out of the vehicle
Swaying or stumbling

I thought a DWI is a misdemeanor. Why am I being charged with a felony?

If you have previously been convicted of a DWI in New York in the last 10 years, you may be charged and convicted of a felony DWI.

Where can I find some DWI laws in New York?

New York Vehicle and Traffic Law
Department of Motor Vehicles

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