Driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a crime that is strictly enforced by New York law and criminal courts. If your driving is impaired or you have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher, you can face charges for driving while intoxicated (DWI). These penalties can have a life-long impact on your future. By working with a New York DWI Lawyer, you are more likely to limit or avoid these penalties.
You can also face charges for driving while ability impaired (DWAI) if your BAC is under 0.08% but over 0.05%. However, you can also face charges if you show any other signs of intoxication, even without meeting the BAC. Facing DWI or DWAI charges can be overwhelming, and if you are convicted, you may face fines, incarceration, and a driver’s license suspension. Additionally, you may end up with a criminal record.
DWI Offenses in New York
The different offenses related to driving under the influence include:
- -DWI: You can be charged with a DWI if you have a BAC of 0.08% or higher or if there is other evidence of intoxication.
- -DWI for drivers of commercial vehicles: For drivers with commercial licenses, the BAC limit is 0.04%. You can also be charged for other evidence of intoxication.
- -Aggravated DWI: You can be charged with an aggravated DWI if you are pulled over with a BAC of 0.18% or higher.
- -DWAI by alcohol: You can be charged with a DWAI if you have a BAC of 0.05% to 0.07% or show other evidence of being impaired.
- -DWAI by another single drug or combination of drugs and alcohol: If you are driving impaired by any single drug or combination of drugs and/or alcohol, you can be charged.
- -Zero-Tolerance Law: If you are under the legal drinking age of 21, you can also be charged with a DWI if you are pulled over with a BAC of 0.02% to 0.07%.
Being impaired under New York law means that you are physically and mentally impaired by alcohol or drugs to any extent, which limits your ability to reasonably operate a vehicle. Being intoxicated, as defined by state statute, means that you are impaired by alcohol or drugs and are incapable of using physical and mental abilities to operate a vehicle reasonably.
Implied Consent Law
New York has an implied consent statute, which means that by driving a vehicle in the state, you give your consent to submit to chemical tests. If you are suspected of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you may be asked to take a blood, breath, or urine test. Although you have the right to refuse, this can be used against you in your DWI case, and you can face civil penalties for the refusal. These may include a $500 civil fine and a license revocation for at least one year.
DWI Penalties in New York
The penalties for a DWI or DWAI depend on aggravating or mitigating factors, including how many prior offenses you have.
A DWAI first offense is a traffic infraction and results in the following penalties:
- -Fines between $300 and $500
- -Up to 15 days in jail
- -License suspension for 90 days
- -A $250 driver responsibility assessment (DRA) for three years
A DWI first offense is charged as a misdemeanor, and conviction includes the following penalties:
- -Fines between $500 and $1,000
- -Up to one year in jail
- -two to three years of probation
- -A $250 DRA for three years
- -Mandatory minimum license suspension for six months
- -Installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) in any vehicle you own or operate for a minimum of six months
Following offenses often result in higher fines and longer minimum license suspension timelines and are usually charged as felonies. If you have prior DWI charges, it is even more essential that you work with a DWI Lawyer in New York to limit the impact these criminal charges have on your life.
Q: What Is the Minimum Sentence for a DWI in New York State?
A: For a first DWI offense in New York, you face a fine of $500 to $1,000, up to one year in jail, a minimum six-month license suspension, and a required installation of an ignition interlock device (IID). If your BAC was between 0.05% and 0.07%, you may instead be charged with a DWAI by alcohol. These penalties include fines between $300 and $500, up to 15 days in jail, and a license suspension for 90 days.
Q: What Can a DWI Be Reduced to in New York?
A: In certain situations, a DWI charge can be reduced to a DWAI, or driving while ability impaired. DWAI charges are considered a violation or an infraction rather than a criminal charge. A DWI is charged as a misdemeanor, which is a criminal offense and will result in a criminal record. Although there are still serious penalties associated with a DWAI, it can be a better alternative for some individuals.
Q: What Is the BAC Range for a DWI in New York?
A: You can be charged with a DWI with a BAC (blood alcohol concentration) of 0.08% or higher. However, you can also be charged with a DWI if you are driving a vehicle and showing signs of being intoxicated. You may not have to reach the BAC threshold to be charged and convicted.
If you are arrested with a BAC of 0.18% or greater, you face charges for an aggravated DWI. These charges result in more significant penalties.
Q: What Is the Two-Hour Rule for a DWI in New York?
A: The two-hour rule for DWI charges in New York refers to the duration of time that can pass between an arrest and a chemical test. If you are pulled over on suspicion of driving impaired or intoxicated, any chemical test taken within two hours of your arrest is considered valid. If a chemical test was administered after those two hours, it can be challenged in court as unreliable evidence. If successful, the evidence can be considered inadmissible in your DWI case.
Your New York DWI Attorneys
Full penalties for a DWI can prevent you from driving for months to years and cause you to have a criminal record that limits your job, housing, and educational opportunities. The experienced attorneys at the Law Offices of Robert Tsigler, PLLC, can bring you compassionate and personalized DWI defense. Contact our team today.