Sunday, April 20, 2014

Ithaca Lawyer How Police Spot The Motorcycle DWI

Way to bring your favorite Kegger along for the ride.

It's mid April in Ithaca, and people are finally starting to feel better. It has been in my estimation, and I'm sure many would join me, a brutal hard winter. No School days based on scary cold weather. Unrelenting days of deep and bone chilling cold. But enough of that, it's warming up, the flowers are blooming.

Now that spring is hopefully upon us the motorcycles are coming out. And with the motorcycles, the motorcycle DWIs. So in this blog I want to shed some light on how police determine someone is DWI on a bike.

Speeding is Usually Not the Culprit

In only 10% of New York State motorcycle speeding stops is there a DWI arrest. This stands in sharp contrast to the many car DWI stops for speeding (well over 60%) I see within my Ithaca DWI practice. Tompkins and the surrounding counties lend themselves to motorbikes. Winding roads, large expanses of beautiful scenery, and rolling vistas. It is a biker's dream.

DWI on a Motorcycle vs. DWI in a Car

The sharp difference between cars and bikes is of course the number of wheels, and the reliance on operator (rider) balance. This is the main thing that stands out when police are looking for motorcycle DWI. Alcohol effects the body's ability to balance, and therefore the rider's ability to balance his bike.

Four Turning Problems (balance is most apparent with turns and curves)

1. Unsteady at slower (too slow) turn speeds

Remember objects in motion tend to stay in motion
while objects at rest, well they fall down


Bikes are kinda like gyroscopes, keep'em in motion and it's not problem, everything looks smooth and fluid, slow down too much and you lose balance, like weebles they begin to wobble. This is especially noticeable on the front wheels.

2. Late Breaking in a Turn

Biker misjudges distances.

3. Improper Lean Angles in a Turn.

Talk about lean angles, this is ridiculous

With DWIs the Biker usually sitting up too high.

4. Erratic Movements in a Turn 

The Three KEY Indicators: 

Police look for drifting, inability to dismount easily, and inability to balance at stops

Police can see the motorcycle shifting or rocking motion from side to side or at night the tail lights going right and then left, this unsteady cadence is a key indicator of DWI

Always consult with an attorney about any criminal or non-criminal charges you have pending to discuss your options and/or defenses.

Reviews of Larry Newman:

Chosen as a 2013 Rising Star in DWI/DUI in Upstate New York by Super Lawyers