Those who were out and about on New Year's Eve in Nassau County may have noticed increased police patrols. In fact, Nassau County executive Ed Mangano announced before the holiday that county police would increase the number of officers on patrol throughout New Year's weekend. The stepped up enforcement was part of a program called "STOP-DWI."
According to the Long Beach Herald, Mangano explained, "New Year's Eve is typically one of the big party nights of the year...There will be additional police patrols all around Nassau County and chances are if you drive drunk at any point over New Year's Eve, you will be arrested."
Increased patrols likely led to increased arrests over the weekend. It is important for anyone who is arrested for drunk driving to know that being arrested does not mean a person is guilty. In fact, arrests for DWI do not all necessarily end in convictions. There are several ways to challenge such arrests:
- Improper stop -- If an officer had no probable cause to pull a driver over in the first place, then it may be possible to have DWI charges dropped.
- Administration and accuracy of field sobriety test -- Field sobriety tests are not a perfect science and the results may be challenged if they were not given or graded correctly.
- Administration and accuracy of Breathalyzer test -- Recent vomiting or indigestion can affect the accuracy of a Breathalyzer test. In addition, a Breathalyzer that is calibrated or used incorrectly by an officer can be challenged in court.
- Administration and chain of custody of blood test -- If a blood test was given incorrectly or the sample was handled incorrectly or tampered with, it may be possible to have the results invalidated.
- Rising BAC -- If time passes between drivers being pulled over and blood alcohol concentration tests being administered, recently consumed alcohol may cause that driver's BAC to rise over the legal limit by the time the test is administered. Drivers may then argue that while they were actually driving, their BAC was below the legal limit.
What is most important to remember is that being pulled over is not necessarily a disaster. After being arrested for DWI, it is often in the best interests of drivers to see to it that their rights are protected by seeking legal counsel.
Source: Long Beach Herald, "Nassau police to increase DWI patrols for New Year's," Jeff Bessen, Dec. 27, 2012