Asleep at the Wheel DWI

One of the surprisingly common DWI cases that we see are those in which the driver is found to be sleeping or passed out in the driver’s seat of their car. Often, but not always, the driver is alone inside the car. We’ve had cases where the sleeping driver is parked outside their home, passed out in the middle of a busy intersection, or passed out outside a bar or nightclub. When the NYPD approaches the sleeping driver, they will generally try to wake them up such as by knocking on the driver side window. When the driver wakes up the police will attempt to communicate and ask basic questions such as for the driver’s name, where they are going and coming from. The police may ask if the driver has consumed any alcohol, drugs, or medications. Depending on the driver’s responses and whether any alcohol is smelled coming from the car, the police may detain the driver for further investigation.

A DWI case that starts with the driver being asleep at the wheel is, for the most part, the same as any other DWI case in that the possible charges and penalties are the same. The main difference is that there will be questions and issues about why you were asleep and/or stopped at the place where you were found.

Our Experience with Asleep at the Wheel DWIs.

Over the years, Lance Fletcher has defended numerous clients arrested for DWI after they were found to be sleeping at the wheel. One client was found asleep at the wheel outside of a nightclub with an open container of alcohol inside. Lance Fletcher fought this client’s case to trial and won on a technicality. Trials are rare and most of the time, your case will be resolved at one of the many court appearances that happen after the day of your arrest. In another memorable case, Lance Fletcher successfully argued that his client was suffering from a sleep disorder that caused his client to pass out at the wheel. In another case, he successfully argued that his client was merely trying to sleep, not drive which allowed us to resolve it by getting it reduced to a traffic infraction.

Lance Fletcher, a former Manhattan prosecutor, will fight to get your case dismissed or the charges reduced on the grounds of any illegal procedure used by the NYPD. He will demand to see the evidence that the NYPD collected to support the arrest. From there, Lance Fletcher will fight the DWI charges on any and all available grounds ranging from poor police work to prosecutorial error. If your charges cannot be dismissed, we are prepared to fight for an outcome that avoids some of the many severe and burdensome penalties typical of even a first arrest for DWI.

Contact us today for a DWI case evaluation.

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