Facing Drunk Driving, DUI, DWI, or DWAI Charges in New York?

Seeking Immediate Counsel from a State Defense Lawyer is Imperative

The earlier you receive expert counsel, the more likely your matter will end favorably. If you’re facing prosecution, contact us immediately.

Drunk Driving, DUI, DWI, or DWAI Charges Charges in New York

The first and most straightforward is that the driver is charged with operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 percent or higher. This is often referred to as a “per se” DWI and is defined in Vehicle and Traffic Law Section 1192(2). Note that while .08 is often referred to as the legal limit, the legal limit is actually below .08 percent. At .08 (and above), the driver is violating the law.

If a police officer has reason to believe that you might be intoxicated based on erratic driving, you may be pulled over and asked to submit to a breathalyzer or field sobriety test. If you fail, or even if you refuse the test, you will be charged with some level of DWI. Moreover, driving while ability impaired (DWAI) means that you are intoxicated by an illegal drug such as a controlled substance or a prescription drug.

Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI) in New York is a legal charge that pertains to operating a motor vehicle while the driver's ability is impaired to any extent by the consumption of alcohol or drugs. Unlike Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), DWAI involves a lower level of impairment but is still considered a serious traffic offense under New York law.

Aggravated DWI entails situations whereby your BAC is 0.18 or more, or if you are driving drunk with a child in the vehicle. This charge is serious, and may result in jail time, a hefty fine, and a license suspension. Subsequent offenses carry even longer sentences and higher fines.

DWI may be charged if you have a BAC of more than 0.08, with penalties including jail time and a license suspension. DWAI carries similar elements, requirements, and penalties, but is charged specifically where your intoxication is by way of illegal or prescription drugs as well.

A DWI or DWAI charge can be raised in severity if, as a result of driving while intoxicated, you cause an accident that causes the death or serious injury of another person, or if you cause significant property damage.

Possible Sentencing & Penalties in New York

Whether arrested for driving drunk in New York City or the Hamptons, the consequences can be severe and the penalties permanent. Notably, DUI, DWI, and DWAI may all be charges depending on the substance used, level of impairment, specific operation of the vehicle, and what, if any, prior convictions you may have for the same offense.

  • First DWI: 1 year in jail, $1,000 in fines and a 6-month suspension
  • First DWAI: 15 days in jail, $500 in fines and a 90-day suspension
  • Second DWI: 4 years in jail, $5,000 in fines and a 1-year suspension
  • Second DWAI: 30 days in jail, $750 in fines and a 6-month suspension
  • Third DWI: 7 years in jail, $10,000 in fines and a 1-year suspension
  • Third DWAI: 180 days in jail, $1,500 in fines and a 6-month suspension

How We Fight Drunk Driving, DUI, DWI, or DWAI Charges in New York

When facing DUI, DWI, or DWAI charges, your defense attorney must be creative in finding and implementing successful defenses. Indeed, given the frequent technical errors as it relates to breathalyzer testing, an experienced, well-versed defense attorney can pinpoint holes in the government’s case which call into question an individual’s actual level of intoxication Further, in circumstances where an individual refused to comply with a test, and is arrested on suspected intoxication because of bloodshot eyes, an unstable gait, or the odor of alcohol, defenses can be successfully lodged by artfully calling into question an officer’s credibility and reliability.

Your Defense Begins Now

If you are being prosecuted for driving drunk, hire a former prosecutor and seasoned defense attorney who has dealt with these charges on both sides of the courtroom. Being charged with DUI, DWI, or DWAI can have a lasting impact. What your defense attorney does in the face of these accusations, by way of investigation and creative advocacy, will both increase your chances of successfully walking away from these accusations and shape the rest of your life.

The sooner you put your case in the hands of an experienced criminal defense lawyer, the more likely your matter will end favorably. To get help contact us at The Law Offices of Jason Goldman Law.

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