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Tougher drunk driving laws possible in New York

As it stands, the legal limit for blood alcohol content while driving is .08 in all 50 states in the US. However, one New York assemblyman is attempting to lower the limit to .05. Felix Ortiz, a Democratic Assemblyman in Brooklyn, re-introduced a bill to lower the number of lives lost in drunk driving accidents. The measure has not yet been scheduled for a vote. Utah, however, was the first state to sign the .05 limit into a law.

Generally, a 0.05 blood alcohol level is equivalent to about two drinks for most women and two to three drinks for most men. If the limit is lowered, many drivers will face DUI charges, even if they were not experiencing the stereotypical symptoms of being "drunk."

It is important to remember that being charged with a DUI does not always result in a conviction. Many drunk drivers are stopped by officers without probable cause or are asked to submit to Breathalyzer tests that have not been appropriately calibrated.

A criminal defense attorney can review the facts of one's case and give their honest opinion of what will likely happen. After gathering maintenance records, video footage and other evidence, an attorney may determine that the officer improperly administered the Breathalyzer test or used a device that was not well-maintained.

Improper administration or maintenance of a test may show that the Breathalyzer test results cannot be reasonably relied upon. Without these test results, the prosecution's case often falls apart. This is just one of many ways criminal charges can get reduced or dismissed.

Source: NBC New York, "Brooklyn Assemblyman Wants to Toughen NY's Drunk Driving Laws," Jan. 21, 2018

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