In New York DWI Cases Why Do The Police Charge Two DWI Charges?
In some cases in New York the police or the prosecutor will file DWI charges against a motorist which contain two separate DWI charges on the same case. This is common in cases with a breath reading and also common for refusal cases. The police and the prosecutors are charging you based upon two different legal theories.
The first theory is called the “Common Law DWI” theory. The second theory is called the “Per Se DWI” theory. We will talk more about the “Per Se DWI” theory in a later post.
With the “Common Law DWI” theory the police will try to prove that you are guilty of DWI beyond a reasonable doubt based upon their observations of the motorist. Below are some observational examples that the police often state:
1. Appearance – The police will report that the motorist had bloodshot and watery eyes and that they detected an odor of alcohol was coming from the motorist.
2. Demeanor – The police may report that the motorist was belligerent, sleepy or uncooperative.
3. Manner of Speech – The police will report that the motorist had slurred speech.
4. Motor Coordination – The police report that the motorist fumbled for their paperwork or had poor balance as they exited their vehicle or as they walked.
5. Performance on the Field Sobriety Tests – There are three standard field sobriety tests. The standard tests are the HGN, One Legged Stand and the Walk and Turn, however the police may employ other tests such as the Alphabet test and or the Romberg test.
The police will present to the court these factors which the prosecutor will argue rise to the level of DWI based upon the totality of the circumstances that the motorist voluntarily consumed alcohol to the extent that she is incapable of employing the physical and mental abilities which he is expected to posses in order to operate a vehicle as a reasonable and prudent driver.