Impact of Open Container Law in New York Affects Drivers

The impact of a DUI crash can be devastating. Take the recent fatal accident in the early morning of January 2 that occurred on Long Island Expressway. An SUV lost control after hitting a concrete divider and rolled over.

Three of the passengers were taken to the hospital with minor injuries. Tragically, a passenger sitting in the front seat of the SUV was killed.

Police found a smashed 12-pack of beer lying next to the vehicle. However, the passengers admitted to consuming more alcohol than what was found at the site of the crash.

The driver was arrested at the scene for:

  • DUI;
  • criminal negligence; and
  • vehicular manslaughter.

Open Container Laws

Unfortunately, these types of tragedies happen too often. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2011 there were 315 alcohol-related fatalities with a blood alcohol content level (BAC) of .08 – above the legal limit – or higher in New York.

New York has adopted open container laws. These prohibit the possession of open containers of alcohol and consumption of alcoholic beverages in a motor vehicle. Just like the case above, when alcohol is found at the site of a crash, it could become a critical piece of evidence in establishing a DUI.

Even if the driver passes a field sobriety test, he or she could still be charged for having an open container in the vehicle. Needless to say, whenever alcohol is present and a crash seriously injures or kills someone, charges may be filed.

Contacting an Accident Attorney on Long Island

Whether you or someone you love has been the victim of a drunk driver and sustained serious or fatal injuries, compensation could be available. To learn more about your legal rights and options, speak with an attorney at Gacovino, Lake & Associates. Call us at 800-246-4878 to schedule your consultation. We can assist with collecting evidence to prove another party’s liability and help establish the financial, physical and emotional damages you have suffered.

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