New York DWI Attorney Serving Rockland, Westchester & Orange County
Rockland, Westchester & Orange County DWI Defense Attorney
A conviction for driving while intoxicated is a serious offense in the state of New York. Conviction can result in a loss of driving privileges, fines, higher insurance premiums, and possibly even jail time. If you have been charged with driving while intoxicated, call our office today, and we can help you avoid the more serious consequences that can follow a conviction. Our experienced New York DWI attorneys can help with Rockland, Westchester & Orange County drunk driving charges.
Driving While Intoxicated, Per Se
In New York, driving with a blood alcohol content (“BAC”) over the limit of 0.08% is illegal per se. Essentially, this means that driving while intoxicated is inherently unlawful regardless of the circumstances. BAC is determined by performing a chemical analysis of the driver’s blood, breath, urine, or saliva. If you are under the age of 21, the maximum blood alcohol content permitted is even lower, at 0.02%. If you refuse to take a chemical test to determine your BAC then your license will be revoked for one year, even if you are never actually convicted.
Legal Consequences of Driving While Intoxicated
Due to the serious nature of the crime, New York imposes relatively heavy penalties for a conviction. Mandatory penalties for a first offense include:
- Payment of a surcharge;
- Payment of a $500 – $1,000 fine; and
- Driving privileges revoked for at least six months
In addition to these mandatory sanctions, a judge can order you to serve a jail sentence of up to one year.
For a second offense within ten years of first, you will be charged with a felony. You could face up to four years in jail, as well as be required to pay a fine of between $1,000 and $5,000, and give up your license for at least one year. You also could be sentenced to probation for up to five years and forced to undergo drug and alcohol counseling and perform 30 days of community service.
The penalties for a third offense are even more severe and include a jail sentence of up to seven years, payment of a fine ranging anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000, and a license suspension of at least one year.
If you are under the age of 21 when arrested for committing this offense, your driver’s license will be mandatorily revoked for at least a year.
New York has various versions of DWI offenses. These include:
Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI) – DWAI is a non-criminal traffic infraction involving a ninety day suspension of one’s driver license and a fine ranging from $ 300-500 plus $ 260.00 surcharge. A person convicted of DWAI usually is eligible for a conditional license to drive to and from work and must attend the New York State Drinking Driver Program and the Victim’s Impact Panel.
Driving While Intoxicated – DWI is a crime, a misdemeanor. There are two types of DWI . One is based on a BAC of .08 or greater and one is based on common-law intoxication ( person drunk, no breath test result). For a first offense, the penalties are as described above and a person convicted of DWI must install an Interlock Ignition Device ( IID) on any car that person owns or operates for a one year. The person may apply for a conditional license and may complete the New York State Drinking Driver Program (DDP) and attend the Victim’s Impact Panel. A person is also subject to up to one year in jail and three years probation although this does not usually happen unless a serious accident was involved or the person has a bad criminal record.
Aggravated DWI – Based on a BAC result of .18 or greater. Penalties include one year revocation of license, $ 1000-2500 fine and $ 400 surcharge, Interlock Ignition Device, New York State Drinking Driver Program and Victim’s Impact Panel. A person is subject to up to one year in jail and three years probation.
Driving While Ability Impaired Drugs (DWAI DRUGS) – Based on driving while ability impaired by drugs, regardless whether the drug was legal or illegal. DWAI drugs is a criminal offense, a misdemeanor. The penalties are similar to DWI alcohol ( see above) except that a person convicted of DWAI drugs is not required to install an Interlock Ignition Device on his or her car and is not eligible for conditional license but may be eligible for a restricted license issued by the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles.
Driving While Under the Combined Influence of Drugs and Alcohol (Combined DWI) – This is a crime, a misdemeanor, based on being under the influence of both drugs and alcohol. The penalties are similar to DWI alcohol except that there is no Interlock Ignition Device associated with a Combined DWI conviction.
Aggravated DWI – Children in Car. If you operate a vehicle while intoxicated and have a child 15 years of age or less in the car you will be charged with Aggravated DWI. This type of DWI is a felony offense. The penalties potentially include state prison or county jail time, probation , loss of license, Interlock Ignition Device and community service.
Felony DWI – Based on a previous misdemeanor DWI conviction in the previous ten years. The penalties potentially include state prison or county jail time, probation, loss of license, Interlock Ignition Device and community service.
Yes, DWI in New York is a serious criminal offense, and can be even more serious depending upon whether you have prior DWIs , whether there was an accident or whether there were children in the car. There are various defenses to DWI ranging from whether the police had a lawful reason to pull your vehicle over to whether the breathalyzer was properly functioning and the breath test properly administered.
If you have been charged for driving while intoxicated, an experienced defense attorney can help you avoid the serious consequences that can result. Please contact New York DWI attorney Phillip Murphy for a free consultation.