First impressions can be deceiving. We know this is true in general. It can even be the case when police suspect a motorist is driving under the influence. Evidence that may seem to indicate DWI could actually be explained by health problems or something else.
For example, charges have been dropped against a Long Island woman who was arrested for DWI in April. It turned out that the woman was not over the legal limit, and that physical problems that police may have thought meant she was drunk were due to other reasons.
The woman was involved in a minor car accident on April 21. After hitting a parked car, she drove to a nearby high school, where she called 911.
A police officer approached her while she was parked in the lot. That encounter led to her arrest on charges of driving while impaired and leaving the scene of an accident. In New York, driving while impaired refers to driving with alcohol in your system, but less than the 0.08 percent legal limit that could trigger a DWI charge.
The woman’s blood-alcohol level was determined to be 0.04 percent. Her attorney said that was due to drinks the woman had the evening before the accident, and that she was not impaired by alcohol.
It appears that the woman appeared to be dizzy by the arresting officer. But she says that her dizziness was not caused by alcohol. She has not been feeling well for nearly a year, and believes that her dizziness was due either to a series of mini-strokes, or anti-depressants she was taking at the time.
After reviewing the evidence, the district attorney dropped the charges on June 5. A spokesman said that there was not enough evidence to continue pursuing the charges.
Source: Newsday, “Charges dropped against Center Moriches teacher in accident with parked car,” Ellen Yan, June 5, 2014