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What to Do if You Are Pulled Over for DUI / DWI

Recently, a New York man was jailed for driving 153 mph with a blood alcohol content (BAC) above the legal limit. State police chased the man at 3 a.m. on a Sunday, and he eventually crashed into a guardrail. Neither the driver nor his passengers were injured. The driver was arrested and tested with a breathalyzer, which purportedly registered a BAC of 0.12. In New York, the legal limit is 0.08. He’s been charged with DWI, reckless endangerment and various other traffic violations.

Trying to outrun police in a high-speed chase is always a bad idea. If you have been drinking and you are being pulled over, you can take steps to avoid the worst consequences. Remain calm, know your rights and contact an attorney immediately.

If you are pulled over, have your license, registration and insurance cards ready for the officer. Stay in your car and keep your hands on the wheel. Address the officer with respect and follow the childhood rule: “Don’t speak unless spoken to.”

The officer may ask if you have been drinking. Never say “yes.” If you truthfully have not been drinking, tell the officer. Otherwise, politely invoke your Fifth Amendment right to avoid self-incrimination.

You have the right to refuse physical sobriety tests such as walking a straight line or following the officer’s penlight. You cannot refuse a breathalyzer or other chemical test without subjecting your license or driving privileges to possible revocation.

Keep in mind that these tests are not infallible. If the breathalyzer finds you over the limit and you are arrested, continue to be polite to the officer. Contact a criminal defense attorney in private as soon as you can. Politely ask if you can call an attorney and advise the officer that you want to speak to an attorney prior to making any decisions. Explain the situation and ask the attorney to explain your options. You may have to choose from among difficult choices, but follow the attorney’s directions once you have made your choice.

Important Information

COVID-19 (Novel Corona Virus)  Update 3-20-2020

By order of Governor Andrew Cuomo, beginning 3-22-2020, all non-essential business in New York state must close their physical offices in response to the rapid rate of positive reported cases of COVID-19 in New York State.

Although this will impact the in office and in person services that LIT can provide, we will still be working remotely from our homes to serve our existing clients and we will continue to serve the public on a remote basis with any new legal matters for which they may need assistance.

We as a nation have overcome great obstacles in the past and although the challenges that lie ahead of us as community, as a state, and as a nation are great, we will overcome them as our resilience as individuals, as a community and as a nation will allow us to prevail.

May all of you and your loved ones be safe and well .

Larkin, Ingrassia & Tepermayster, LLP


Should you have any questions please feel free to contact us at 845-566-5345

For more information regarding the COVID-19 virus please visit any of the following sites:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

NYS Department of Health

Orange County Dept. of Health

Ulster County Dept. of Health

For information and updates regarding court postponements or closings please visit:

NYS Unified Court System

9th Judicial District

3rd Judicial District