Drinking and Driving in New York . . .

The Law & You 


Image by woody1778a via Flickr

Drinking and driving is an extremely dangerous combination. Before we go any further at all, let’s check out a few facts.

    • One third of all fatalities on the roads of New York State involve some degree of drivers or pedestrians whose ability is impaired by alcohol. Pedestrians? Yes, that’s right, drinking and walking is also a pretty hazardous combination.
    • As your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) rises so does your chances of being involved in an accident. A driver who has a BAC of .08 is an astonishing four times more likely to be involved in (well, cause) a crash than a driver who has not had any alcohol at all. A driver with a BAC of .16 is an amazing 25 times more likely to crash . . . it really does make that much difference to your abilities to drive safely.
    • Youngsters are most at risk. Drivers under the age of 21 years are three times more likely to be involved in fatal crashes related to alcohol than older drivers. The reasons for this are two-fold . . . some young drivers think that they are invincible and need to grow up, and secondly, alcohol does often have more of an effect on younger people in general.

You see, drinking and walking can be pretty hazardous too . . . . particularly if you step out into the road.


What Quantity of Alcohol Can I Drink Before My Driving Ability Is Affected

28 Bottles of Beer on the Table

Image by fraleyla via Flickr

Any amount of alcohol will affect your judgement and ability to drive safely, so of course the safest bet is to keep off the booze completely if you are going to drive. The degree of how much a quantity of alcohol will affect you, however, is dependent on four factors;

  • How much you drink.
  • Whether you’re drinking on a empty stomach or have had food either before and whilst you’ve been drinking (food slows down absorption).
  • Your bodyweight. Heavier people are often affected by alcohol less than people of a more slight build.
  • How long you’ve actually spent drinking. Two drinks in 5 minutes will affect you much more than two drinks in two hours.

How Can I Sober Up Quickly

Another "no alcohol" logo

Image via Wikipedia

Straight answer here is . . . you can’t. Coffee doesn’t help, neither does a walk in the fresh air or even a cold shower. Time is the only way to reduce your BAC.  Calculate on around one drink per hour, so if you’ve had a good few drinks then it’ll be a good few hours before you’re fit to drive again.
So What Should I Do If I’ve Had Too Much To Drink
There are just a couple of options here . . . stay put . . . . find a friend to drive you home who hasn’t been drinking or . . . call a cab.
What If I’ve Arranged A Lift With A Friend And I Find That They’ve Been Drinking
Say no, you’ve got a voice haven’t you.  Find another way to get home and take your drunken friend with you . . . call another friend, call a family member, call a taxi!
If I Drive When I’ve Been Drinking What Are The Chances of Getting Caught
Very good is all that I can say to that one, so don’t be tempted. New York State now has the STOP-DWI law which means that the police officers are well equipped to watch out for drivers who have been drinking. Don’t risk it, it really is not worth it on any level!

What If The Police Stop Me . . . Then What

If a police officer stops you believing that you are driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs then you will probably need to take a “field sobriety test”, this might include blowing into a bag to test your breathe for signs of alcohol. If you are then arrested you’ll need to take a chemical test (blood or urine test) and you might also have your fingerprints taken like a common criminal . . . that’s because drinking and driving is a criminal offence and if you are found guilty of drinking and driving then you are a criminal. Doesn’t sound very nice does it? That’s just the start of the story . . . .if you’re found guilty then there’ll be a substantial fine, your license will be suspended or revoked, you’ll have to pay a mandatory surcharge, there might even be a jail sentence in it too . . . . and ultimately, when you think it’s all over your motor insurance premiums will have gone through the roof.

Oooh, that’s just the start of it cowboy, and those dance moves won’t make the penalties any easier to swallow.

What Are My Chances of Talking My Way Out of a Drink Driving Conviction and Making a Plea Bargain


Ah – But What If I Refuse To Take a Chemical Test

Then your license will be suspended anyway and revoked for a minimum of 1 year, plus you’ll have to pay a $500 civil penalty so it’s really not a good idea to get all cute. You’ll be in trouble whether you’ve been drinking or not, so you might as well face the music head on.

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