New York DUI Lawyer
Drunk driving, or what is sometimes called DUI, can lead to serious criminal penalties in New York. In some cases, drivers who are found to be impaired by drugs or alcohol face suspension or revocation of their license, significant fines, and possible jail time.
In New York, penalties for Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) or Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI) depend on factors like:
- Age of the driver in relation to 21
- The substance involved (alcohol, drugs, or a combination of both)
- Type of driver's license (a regular passenger license or a special license such as a commercial license or CDL)
- Whether the driver submitted to a chemical test or refused to do so
If you are facing a DWI or DWAI charge, it is important to understand your legal situation, and an experienced New York DUI lawyer can help. Here are the basics of what you should know about DWI/DWAI law in New York.Legal Standards for DWI/DWAI in New York
New York determines whether an individual is impaired based on their age, blood alcohol content (BAC), and the type of vehicle being driven.
Drivers found to be impaired will be charged with DWI in the following circumstances:
- Drivers under 21 years old with a BAC of 0.02%
- Drivers 21 or over with a BAC of 0.08%
- Drivers operating a commercial motor vehicle with a BAC of 0.04%
Driving with a BAC of 0.18% can lead to charges of Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated (Aggravated DWI), which has more severe penalties.
Impaired drivers may also face the charge of Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI) with a BAC of between 0.05%-0.07%, or if there is other evidence of impairment. DWAI may be based on impairment due to alcohol, drugs, or a combination of alcohol and drugs.
Driving with children in a car vastly increases a defendant’s exposure from a misdemeanor to a felony.Penalties for Driving While Impaired
Consulting with a New York DUI lawyer will help an individual fully understand the potential penalties a DUI in New York carries. The severity of the penalty depends on the number of similar prior offenses an individual has been convicted of in the past.
A first-time offender for DWI faces a fine of between $500 - $1,000, a license suspension of a minimum of six months, and up to one year jail time.
For DWAI, the fine can be $300 - $500, with a suspension of license for 90 days, and up to 15 days in jail.
Each subsequent conviction for DUI increases the amount and duration of these penalties, so if currently facing a second, third, or fourth charge, reach out to a lawyer to who has represented people in the same situation.
It is important to know that New York has a Zero Tolerance Law for those under age 21 who are caught driving under the influence. Even a BAC of 0.02% will lead to an automatic license suspension for six months, a fine of $125, and an additional $100 fee to reinstate the license after six months.
Under New York State law, a conviction for a DWI offense will also mandate that a defendant install an ignition interlock device on their vehicle even if that car is registered out of state where the defendant resides. Tampering with or having another person blow into the device to start the vehicle or during periodic times while the car is in operation is a new and distinct offense.How a New York DUI Attorney Can Help
A conviction for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a serious matter, and New York is known for being very aggressive in responding to those who violate the law.
If you or someone you know faces DWI or DWAI charges in New York, do not try to handle it on your own. Instead, contact a New York DUI lawyer who understands the process, can inform you of your rights, and will also work to make sure those rights are protected.