Staten Island DWI Lawyer Kenneth F. Smith says DWI Enforcement Rising in Richmond County

Staten Island Summonses and DWI Arrests on the Rise with State Police Enforcement

New York State Police continue to aggressively patrol Staten Island’s highways.  Their dark-blue with gold striped patrol vehicles are noticeably different than the NYPD white and blue patrol cars, and, as anyone traversing the borough’s highways has seen, there are a lot of them in Staten Island these days. 

Some have speculated that the presence of the State Troopers into areas historically policed by the NYPD is another chapter in the war between NYC Mayor Bill DeBlasio NY State Governor Andrew Cuomo. It’s irritating to more than just Staten Island drivers

Whatever the cause, one thing is certain: enforcement is up.  More summonses are being issued and more DWI arrests are being made.

And it’s not as hard to get arrested under those circumstances as some might think. 

In the first place, you don’t have to be Intoxicated to be arrested for Driving While Intoxicated! 

Most people know that the legal limit in New York/New Jersey is .08%.  Above that limit of alcohol in someone’s blood, they are legally intoxicated.  So, if I’m driving below .08%, I’m fine, right?         


If you are stopped in Staten Island (or anywhere else in New York) and you blow a .07%, you are getting arrested.  

.06%? Arrested. 

.05%? Arrested

.04%? Arrested.  

I’ll stop there.  But if you blow anything other than triple zeros, you’re getting arrested.

Why? How is this possible?

Simply because they can. 

Even if you have less than .08% in your system, and are not technically intoxicated, the law provides that if your ability to drive was nonetheless “impaired” by the use of alcohol (or drugs) you are guilty of the infraction of DWAI (Driving While Ability Impaired), under section 1192.1 of the NY Penal Law. 

And for the Police and the Prosecutors, who are keeping score, it’s a ‘high percentage play’ to arrest someone who has any amount of alcohol in their system and charge them with DWI, since, they will likely plead guilty to the lesser included offense of DWAI to avoid trial and even worse possible consequences. 

Then it’s on you (and me) to prove you were not Intoxicated. 

But you don’t have to blow or give any sample to be arrested for Driving While Intoxicated!

The officer’s observation of any “indicators” of alcohol (bloodshot, watery eyes, odor of alcoholic beverage on breath, etc.) are enough for the officer to arrest you, whether or not you blow or give a sample.

So that sip of wine you took from your spouse’s glass at dinner a few minutes ago that is on your breath can be the basis for your arrest, even if you are not impaired or intoxicated at all.   

Now it’s on you (and me) to prove your innocence.

But it’s even scarier:

You don’t have to smell like alcohol or have bloodshot eyes or slurred speech to be arrested for Driving While Intoxicated! 

Under New York law, the helpful and polite answer you gave to the Police Officer’s question about having a beer five hours ago at lunch just gave the officer Probable Cause to arrest you!

Now it’s on you (and me) to prove your innocence.

Staten Island DWI Lawyer Kenneth F. Smith is here to help you if you’ve been arrested in Richmond County.  Whether it’s your first arrest or a ‘repeat offender’ Felony DWI, whether it’s a high blow or no blow DWI, whether the charge is for alcohol or drugs, call your Staten Island DWI Attorney: Kenneth F. Smith.

Staff is standing by to take your call now.  Let us help you.

(646) 450-9929