A news story about a traffic stop typically calls to mind images of speeding
motorists, with the most serious result being a speeding citation. However,
two recent local traffic stops did not fare so well.
In both cases, the traffic stops involved drivers on all-terrain vehicles,
or four-wheelers. Both men were spotted driving their ATVs on the highway.
Under ordinary circumstances, such behavior might warrant a traffic ticket
for the unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle -- to the extent that
police officials did not simply let the offenders off with a warning.
However, both men were allegedly driving while intoxicated. To make matters
worse, both also had previous DWI-related convictions. One of the men
had apparently resorted to his ATV because the prior conviction had resulted
in revoked driving privileges. That same man submitted to a breath test
in the instant offense, which reportedly returned a blood alcohol content
reading of .08 percent.
The stories are a good example of how additional circumstances can elevate
traffic tickets into felony charges. They also illustrate why it can be
important to raise a strong criminal defense to a traffic ticket, even
for first-time offenders.
According to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, points are
assigned to certain traffic violations. Get too many points -- 11 within
an 18-month period -- and you may run the risk of having your driver’s
license suspended. However, points are not automatically awarded. Rather,
points are added to a driver’s record only after he or she is convicted
of a traffic violation.
Source: Poughkeepsie Journal, “
Amenia man driving quad charged with felony,” Nina Schutzman, July 20, 2014