Yes, by law you can be arrested for driving while intoxicated in New York, even if the police do not see you driving. In most cases, this happens when a person has been involved in an accident.
In most DWI arrests, police officers either see a vehicle driving erratically, or receive reports that a vehicle is driving erratically, and they pull the vehicle over. It’s also common for police officers to pull over a vehicle for an unrelated reason and then to suspect the driver may have been drinking or using drugs. In those cases, the driver is then usually arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated.
However, in some cases in New York a police officer will be called to the scene of an accident, or will happen upon a one-vehicle accident, and may suspect the driver of drinking. This can occur even if the police officer did not actually see the driver drinking or using drugs.
The police may be able to find witnesses who allege the individual was driving, or they may be able to deduce who was driving from the circumstances of the accident.
If you were arrested for DWI, but the police did not actually see you driving, you may have a valid defense to the charges. Many people who are charged with DWI are tempted to give up and just plead guilty, but DWI charges can carry significant penalties.
It’s important to remember that if you are questioned by a police officer, you are not required to tell the officer whether or not you were driving the car or whether you were drinking. You may also wish to decline any field sobriety tests or chemical tests, although that decision can result in revocation of your license.
If you are facing DWI charges in New York, you need to fight those charges. Call the experienced Buffalo Drunk Driving Attorneys with Friedman & Ranzenhofer at 585-484-7432. We will help you fight those DWI charges.