Wednesday, October 9, 2013

DWI License Issues: America's and My Love Affair with Driving

The Sizzlers by Hot Wheels, a boy can only dream

There are things that I love, like cars and driving. Maybe that's why I practice DWI defense? Yeah I know you should never love "things" especially things that can't love you back but I have since a boy loved wheels, motors, and tires.

My favorite toys were my matchbox cars, sizzler hot wheels (motorized mini cars), and my James Bond Aston Martin. Even thinking of my first Tonka dump truck at age 5 brings a smile to my face and a tear to my eye. I used to play on the floor for hours. Zoom Zoom wasn't a commercial, it was something I uttered all day long.

Got this for being sick at age 5
from ebay old toys

The cars would zoom here and there, and for hours I would have them talk to one another. Years after I left home for college I returned to find my mom threw my box of cars in the garbage. Thanks mom! I guess she never got it. She still thinks I should just grow up but I refuse to give up my joy for cars. With age my cars just got bigger and better, I sometimes even talk to them but they don't talk back to me (thank G-d).

My dad's last car (his fav) a 1972 Olds Delta 88 (rocket 350)

My dad loved his cars. Maybe that's where I got my inspiration. He saw them as large land yachts. Big, heavy, loaded, and powerful V-8 American Chevy and Oldsmobiles (his favorites). They were a way to see and enjoy all of America.

He loved to drive us places. The joy of a road trip. He would settle into his seat, light up a smoke, and sing along with the radio. His love affair became mine as well. Some people hate driving. These people look upon it as an onerous chore. They find no joy in getting behind the wheel. Cars are merely transportation to them, something to get from point A to point B. I never really understood that.

Cars were romantic to me. They were exciting. They were a way to pick up and date girls. I loved their design, their engineering, their power, their beauty, and their grace. I spent many a Saturday washing and waxing my car. It got my love, and attention.

So what is it that I love about cars and driving them?

1. Cars Mean Freedom

Nothing is more American to me than a wind open road and the ability to roam. One of the most popular songs this summer was "Cruise" and for good reason. People go into a Zen like mental state when they are cruising along the highway. It is a beautiful way to relax and enjoy the scenery. I used to say, "five bucks in my pocket, a full tank of gas, and I'm set for the day."

2. A Driver's License Gives You Options and Power

A driver's license is empowering. It is a your permission to travel from place to place on your own. Controlling your own auto is liberating. It allows you to control and direct your destiny. Your destination may be a job, a girlfriend, a new town, a restaurant, a movie, etc. It offers up infinite possibilities of where you can go and what you can do.

Without a license (especially in Upstate NY): 

Your job (employment) prospects are greatly limited.
Your getting to a job may be dependent upon a bus schedule.
Your friend prospects are reduced.
Your activities are curtailed.
Your ability to provide education, food, and shelter is reduced.
It will affect you socially, and impact you financially.

3. Having a License Feels Like a Constitutional Right

We are guaranteed Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Pursuit to me implies driving. I am certainly not pursuing happiness on foot or by bicycle. Ithaca may love them, may love conservation, but the motor, the engine is pure joy to me. It sings a song like no other. I'm no Quaker, give me modern technology.

Yeah I know that the car didn't exist for the framers but I think they would have loved it as much or more than I do based on their personalities. They absolutely loved freedom, hated oppressors, and believed in manifest destiny (G-d given expansion of our interests). Pursuing education, pursuing service, pursuing creation, pursuing family, pursuing better food, pursuing is best done with a motor, Amen!

I could not imagine living my life without cars and the ability to drive them. I guess if I lived in the big city some would think of them as more luxury than necessity. I see them as being a way to a richer and more meaningful life. A life free of bounds or restrictions. A life of enormous opportunity.

That is why having a driver's license threatened or endangered by a DWI or other moving (speeding) violation means as much to me as it does to my clients. One of the first things people want to know is:

What's Going to Happen to My License? 

Will I Lose My License?

People who need to feed their families, take their children to school, activities, church, sporting events, and doctors. Their licenses and cars give them the ability to remain close to their families. It is vital element to a fulfilling life

If you have questions about your DWI/DWAI charges or other traffic violations within the Finger Lakes region you can either call me or send me an email.

Originally, born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. My father was a NYS corrections officer, and my mother a waitress. I now live in Ithaca, NY with my wife (of 25 years), and four kids. I have a B.S. in Human Biology, Doctorates in Law and Chiropractic, and a Post Graduate in Acupuncture. I practiced as a Chiropractic Physician in Florida from 1986 to 1995. I graduated law school in 1997, and went on to practice trial law in FL, NY, NJ, and PA. I love practicing criminal defense and injury law within the Finger Lakes Region of New York State.

Over 95% of the cases that I take on are New York DWI defense cases. I am certified as a breath tester by the Department of Transportation, the guidelines of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). I am certified in Field Sobriety Tests, and an active member of the National College of DUI Defense (NCDD). My online materials include over 450 blog posts, dozens of articles, and over 425 informative videos on my youtube channel.

I have co-authored Strategies for Defending DWI Cases in New York, in both 2011 and 2013. These are West Thomson legal manuals on New York State DWI defense, and focus on the best practices for other lawyers handling a New York DWI case. Included in Strategies for Defending DWI Cases in New York are materials I provide clients, such as my fee agreement and ways to avoid misdemeanor probation. I was selected by Super Lawyers as a Upstate New York 2013 Rising Star in DWI/DUI Defense based on my experience, contributions, and professional standing.