On Christmas Eve, Governor Cuomo issued a press release, warning drivers throughout New York that the State Police and local law enforcement will be cracking down on drunk driving throughout the holiday season. The period between Christmas and New Year's is among the most dangerous on the roads when the rate of drunk driving accidents spikes sharply. More drivers are getting behind the wheel after having too many drinks at a Christmas or New Year's Eve party, with the results that the numbers of people who are injured or killed in DWI accidents rise. Governor Cuomo's announcement is intended to warn drivers against the dangers of drinking and driving, with the threat of possible arrest and criminal charges for driving while intoxicated.
The holiday DWI crackdown announced by the Governor is planned to consist of sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols. What does this mean for drivers in Westchester County? It means that you can expect to see more local and State Police cars on the roads. It means that you might be out driving at night only to find yourself rolling up to a DWI checkpoint where you might be required to submit to sobriety testing. It means, essentially, that you have more reason than ever not to drink and drive because the chances that you could end up in handcuffs are higher.
DWI checkpoints are a high-profile law enforcement tool for catching drunk drivers, as well as warning drivers against taking the chances of getting behind the wheel after drinking. As an example, The Journal News reported earlier this month on the fact that five drivers were arrested at a checkpoint in Clarkstown. This is part of the statewide STOP-DWI Crackdown which runs from December 12 through New Year's Day. Even earlier in the holiday season, DWI checkpoints were being operated throughout the Hudson Valley for Thanksgiving weekend, according to a report from News 12 Westchester. There have not yet been any public announcements concerning the time and location of any sobriety checkpoints in Westchester County, so the best precaution you can take to avoid being arrested at a checkpoint is to simply not drive drunk. Compared with the enormous costs of an arrest, the fee for a cab ride is negligible. Furthermore, your decision not to drive drunk could make the difference between life and death for yourself and others.
What to Do at a New Year's Eve Checkpoint
In the event that you do end up at a DWI checkpoint on New Year's Eve, what should you do to handle the situation? How can you avoid an arrest? Answers to these questions and more can be found in Robert Schuster's article, "10 Things to Do at a DWI Stop in Westchester County." Robert Schuster is a former prosecutor with a success rate of 95% at trial, and in this article, he shares his insight concerning what you should – and shouldn't – do during a roadside investigation for driving while intoxicated. Perhaps the most basic guideline you should follow is to exercise your right to remain silent. Politely refuse to answer questions about where you are going or coming from and whether you have been drinking. If you are detained, call The Law Offices of Robert Schuster at (914) 241-0004 for a free telephone consultation.
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