In New York, driving while intoxicated is taken very seriously by law enforcement with harsh penalties in the event of a conviction. Many of these cases come about as part of a checkpoint, after an accident, or due to the person driving the vehicle in a manner that is viewed as indicative of operating under the influence. Some situations in which a driver is taken into custody on a DUI charge are different than others.
One particular incident in Illinois was quite unusual. In that case, a woman who was driving her vehicle with a 15-foot tree in the front grille was stopped by law enforcement after a tip from another driver. The vehicle was a Lincoln Town Car. It was spotted and stopped for a police investigation.
The officer found that the airbags in the front of the vehicle had been activated, apparently after the accident in which the woman hit the tree. The officer smelled alcohol on the woman. She confessed to having hit the tree in a different town, but did not recollect precisely where that was. She was given a field sobriety test, which she failed, and she was then taken into custody.
While this is an unusual way for a driver to be pulled over by police to determine whether or not consumption of alcohol was involved, it mirrors other cases with the possibility of severe consequences in the event of a conviction. As a result, people may find it advisable to try to combat drunk driving charges with assistance from an experienced criminal defense attorney. In some cases, the attorney could challenge whether the authorities had the required probable cause to make the traffic stop.
Source: FOX News, "Cops catch drunk driver thanks to 15-foot tree on front of car", March 7, 2016