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DUI in New York: When to obtain legal aid

As traffic slowly moved along the West Shore Expressway near Brooklyn on Nov. 28, one vehicle stopped and didn't start again when the congestion cleared up. According to reports, the driver of the vehicle had fallen asleep.

The driver, a male from Allentown, Pennsylvania, fell asleep in the New Jersey-bound lane of traffic at approximately 2:10 p.m. He was believed to be driving drunk.

Vehicles eventually began passing along the side of the car. When a Port Authority police officer drove past, he looked inside and discovered that the driver was asleep with an opened can of beer in his cup holder. The driver was asked to exit the vehicle. When he did, the police noted that he was swaying and there was an odor of alcohol in the car. When the driver was taken in for processing, it was discovered that his blood alcohol content was .14 percent, almost twice the legal driving limit.

Both federal and state laws are very strict about drunk driving. In many states, the first offense is punished severely. Typically, a driver convicted of driving drunk will have his or her license revoked. It is important to note that there are several different forms of drunk driving, each with differing penalties. Two of the most common are operating a vehicle while impaired and driving under the influence.

OWI is the least serious offense. This offense is simply defined as operating a motor vehicle while impaired by alcoholic beverages. "Impairment" is defined as the consumption of alcohol to an extent that can be noticed in the operation of a motor vehicle. DUI, a more serious offense, is defined as driving a motor vehicle while significantly impaired by alcohol. To receive a fair hearing in court, many drivers suspected of drunk driving choose to contact a DUI lawyer as soon as possible.

Source: siilive.com, "Drunken driver found asleep at the wheel in Thanksgiving Day traffic on West Shore Expressway, police say", Vincent Barone, November 28, 2014

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