A NYPD officer has been charged with driving while intoxicated, according to news reports.  Shieed Haniff, a seven-year veteran of the police force, was arrested and charged with DWI after allegedly driving intoxicated through Brooklyn.  Officers claim that in addition to driving drunk, Haniff was driving recklessly and crashed into multiple cars.  Occupants of those vehicles reportedly sustained minor injuries due to the crashes.  Haniff is currently facing charges of leaving the scene of an accident, driving while intoxicated, reckless driving and refusing to take a breath test.  Haniff was released without bail shortly following his arrest.


On-duty officers noticed Haniff driving recklessly after he struck the other vehicles. Allegedly, Haniff was driving so recklessly that he nearly ran over several officers who were trying to stop him.  The arresting officers saw the crashes, and were eventually able to stop Haniff.  Promptly following the stop, the officers noticed Haniff’s supposed intoxication and tried to administer a chemical breath test. These breath tests, commonly referred to as breathalyzer tests, are used to gauge a driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) level.  In New York, a driver with a BAC of 0.08% or higher is legally intoxicated and therefore can be charged with a DWI. However, police were unable to administer the breathalyzer test because Haniff refused to submit to it.  His refusal led to the charge of refusing to take a breath test, which resulted in a driver’s license suspension.

It is common practice in New York for officers at a DWI stop to administer a breathalyzer test. This method of measuring BAC is heavily relied on as evidence to prove a driver was violating the New York DWI law. Other tests, such as urinalysis and blood tests, can be administered to gauge BAC.  Those results can also be used as evidence.  Refusing to submit to any of these BAC tests can cost a driver their license for a period between 12 and 18 months. A refusal can also result in heavy fines and civil penalties levied against the driver.

After a driver has committed what is known as a “DWI chemical test refusal,” their license will be temporarily suspended pending a hearing with the Department of Motor Vehicles.  A driver like Haniff, who is suspected of driving while intoxicated but refuses a chemical test, will usually be charged with a common law DWI.  A common law DWI uses evidence other than chemical test results to show the driver was intoxicated.  This alternative evidence can include the driver’s appearance, manner of speech, physical condition, manner of driving, and the circumstances of any accident, among other factors. A driver convicted of a common law DWI has a misdemeanor criminal conviction resulting in criminal record for life.  Penalties include up to 1 year in jail, a maximum fine of $1000, a 6-month license revocation, installation and maintenance of an Ignition Interlock Device for up to 1 year, and DMV and court costs of over $1000.  These penalties are in addition to any license suspension or revocation a driver will face due to refusal of a chemical test.

If you or someone you know has been charged with DWI or related charge, call the experienced DWI lawyers at Nave DWI Defense Attorneys. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.

DISCLAIMER: The exclusive purpose of this article is educational and it is not intended as either legal advice or a general solution to any specific legal problem.  Corporate offices for Nave DWI Defense Attorneys are located at 432 N. Franklin Street, Suite 80, Syracuse, NY 13204; Telephone No.: 1-866-792-7800.  Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.  Attorney Advertising.