Labor Day weekend can mean more than a welcome break from work with a three day weekend of relaxing with friends and family; it can also mean an increased chance of being arrested for driving while intoxicated. New York State police and local police departments across the state have collaborated in a national campaign, “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over,” which ran from August 19, 2015 to September 7, 2015.

Like many summer drunk driving campaigns, the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign has focused on reducing incidents of driving by drivers who are impaired by either alcohol or drugs. According to the statistics released as part of the campaign, in New York, the average driver stopped for driving while intoxicated tested positive for a blood-alcohol content of .14, when the legal limit is .08 and 0.4 for commercial drivers. In New York State, you may be arrested if you are above the legal limit or show other signs of intoxication or impairment. Additionally, even if your blood alcohol level is less than .08, if you have a level higher than 0.5 you may be charged with driving while ability impaired by alcohol.

Serious Penalties for Drunk Driving

Drivers with prior drunk driving convictions should remember that last year New York increased its penalties for drivers who have multiple driving while intoxicated convictions. For instance, a person who is convicted of three or more times in 10 years could face up to seven years in prison and pay up to $10,000 in fines. A driver who is convicted of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol for the first time may not face as serious consequences as a so-called repeat offender, however, the consequences are still quite serious. For a first-time driving while intoxicated conviction, drivers face up to one year in prison and having their driver’s license revoked for at least six months.

For drivers below the drinking age, drunk driving is an especially bad decision due to the zero tolerance approach in New York State, where an underage driver who tests positive for a blood alcohol level between 0.2 and 0.7 can face charges. It is important to remember that refusal to submit to chemical testing when arrested for driving while intoxicated can lead to the driver’s license being revoked for at least a year. In addition to the great inconvenience of a suspended or revoked license, after serving the suspension period, the driver has to pay a fee to have the license suspension or revocation terminated.

Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney

If your Labor Day weekend ended in an arrest for driving while intoxicated, or you are in danger of losing your license for refusing a chemical test, then you need a New York attorney who has experience dealing with driving while intoxicated and related charges. Contact George F. Hildebrandt for a consultation today.