Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Ithaca Lawyer Why You Can't Drive Crazy in Private Parking Lots

Not Always the Smartest Thing to Do
We get phone calls about the aftermath of negligent, careless, distracted, and reckless driving behavior daily. Sometimes people think it's OK to drive by feel in abandoned areas. Sometimes people test the limits of their Subaru in the ice and snow at the nearest Walmart.  Is it OK to do donuts in New York parking lots late at night or in the wee hours of the morning? Is Ok to drive without a license or a suspended license in a New York parking lot? How about driving drunk or high in a private lot?

Monday, January 16, 2017

Ithaca Lawyer Regular High Dose Smokers at Risk of New York DWAI Marijuana

Wide Spread Marijuana Use is
Presenting New Legal Issues 
You know there is still a nationwide debate about the dangers of marijuana and the evils of long term use. The reality is that 25 states now have medical marijuana and the trend is towards national legalization. BUT in New York state as well as many others drugged driving is a serious offense with harsh penalties. New research into THC elimination kinetics (how it leaves the body) has revealed dangers for New York drivers who are long term chronic users.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Ithaca Lawyer: Why Upstate New York Public Defenders and Assigned Counsel Has Problems

From imdb.com
Would YOU hire him?
The headlines are gripping:

         Why You're in Deep Trouble If You Can't Afford a Lawyer

                                                                     Mother Jones Magazine

The New York State public defense system is in need of reformation and change. Of the 62 NYS counties, 24 have public defender offices, and the other 38 use assigned counsel (aka 18-B) lawyers. Ithaca (Tompkins County) and Watkins Glen (Schuyler County) use assigned counsel lawyers exclusively for public defense.

New York State uses full and part time public defenders as well as assigned counsel lawyers. All are paid for their legal services by their respective county either on a flat rate or an hourly rate. Some seemingly private attorneys also take public defense (assigned counsel) cases. There are numerous issues with New York's public system because it is largely overworked and underfunded.

Can you get by with a New York Public defender for your DWI or DWAI drugs charges?

Ithaca Lawyer Warns New York Students That Get High Don't Get Stopped in PA

College Memories
New York State and Pennsylvania are places of great similarity and contrast. I have practiced DWI defense in both, and the laws, rules, and procedures are night and day. For those that smoke pot in New York the DWAI drugs "driving while impaired by a drug" driving charge, and the required proof for that offense morphs into something far different and ultimately more dangerous just below us in Pennsylvania.

Friday, January 13, 2017

New Law Mandates Inspection for Car Window Tint

Police Officer Using Tint Meter Enforcer

New York State has long had law that cars and trucks cannot have window tint that is blocks light transmittance of greater than 30%. An amendment to that law has just taken effect on January 1, 2017 that makes checking window tint light transmittance part of every yearly car inspection. New York State like many jurisdictions has a mandatory annual car inspection forever.

This new window tint inspection amendment has been proposed every year since 2003, and the amendment has failed for 13 years running.      

                                 Why the New York Tint Inspection law passed this year is the question?  

Thursday, January 12, 2017

VTL 1144 (a) New Move Over Law Expands the Vehicles You Must Move Over For


New York State has a "move over" law, NYS VTL 1144 (a) which was originally enacted to safeguard police at roadside traffic stops. Cars and trucks whizz by vehicles stopped along the shoulder at close distance. This has lead to many unnecessary deaths of law enforcement over the years by careless motorists. The law will change once again on January 17, 2017 to protect even more public safety workers.

New York "Move Over" Law Expands Once Again January 2017


The law began in New York state January 1, 2011 after two State Troopers by the names of Ambrose and Searles were both struck and killed by motorists while making traffic stops. The law was expanded in 2012 to include:

tow trucks, snow plows and other vehicles performing road maintenance, construction or repair.  
The law under New York State Vehicle and Traffic section 1144 (a) MANDATES that motorists slow down and move over for: police, fire, ambulance, tow trucks, snow plows, maintenance vehicles, AND NOW ANY vehicle displaying a blue or green light, including volunteer firefighters and volunteer ambulance workers UNLESS traffic or other hazards prevent them from doing so safely.

BILL NUMBER:  S7938

 TITLE OF BILL :

An act to amend the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to the operation of vehicles when approaching a parked, stopped or standing vehicle displaying a blue or green light

 PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL :

To increase the roadside safety of volunteer firefighters and volunteer ambulance workers.

 SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS :

The bill would require all motor vehicle operators to exercise due care to avoid colliding with a vehicle parked, stopped or standing on the shoulder or any portion of a roadway while displaying a revolving blue light or revolving green light as authorized by law. The bill
also would require that, on parkways and controlled access highways, due care would include moving from the lane containing or adjacent to the shoulder where such vehicles are parked, stopped or standing.


A violation of VTL 1144 (a) is a non-criminal traffic offense which carries three points, a $275 fine, plus a NYS surcharge. These tickets are usually not given alone and frequently you are facing much higher fines, points, and surcharges. Discuss these and any other tickets with a local traffic attorney.