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Memorial Day DWI crackdown

Memorial Day is the unofficial start to summer. It's when we have cook-outs and picnics, parties and other gatherings with family and friends.

Memorial Day is also when police increase patrols and checkpoints looking for drivers under the influence of alcohol.

It's not difficult to look online for websites that list DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) checkpoints in our area. A quick look reveals that law enforcement has not had recent drunk driving checkpoints in Broome County, though they have had them in the past in Binghamton, Vestal and Johnson City.

Of course, that is no guarantee that there won't be checkpoints up on Memorial Day. As you know, checkpoints are legal in New York and are not an uncommon law enforcement tool.

If you have been pulled over at a checkpoint or simply while driving the area, an officer might well ask you to submit to a Breathalyzer test to determine your BAC (blood alcohol content). If your BAC is at ,08 percent or above, you can be arrested for driving under the influence. It should be noted that refusing to take a Breathalyzer test comes with punishments that are very similar to a DWI (also known as DUI) conviction.

Another way officers try to figure out whether or not you are impaired is to ask you to perform a field sobriety test. These tests are used to judge a person's balance, ability to focus and so on.

If you have been arrested for driving while intoxicated, you face a number of harsh punishments according to New York State law. Your freedom and driver's license are both on the line. Before you speak with a prosecutor, talk to an attorney experienced in drunk driving defense.

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Law Office of Jack Kotchick

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Binghamton, NY 13901

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