Driving While Ability Impaired

An infraction and not a crime, VTL 1192.1 is the lowest possible drunk driving and DWI offense in New York State. As noted, although a conviction for Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI) is not a crime, it will stay on your record.

In short, your are guilty of VTL 1192.1 if prosecutors can prove beyond a reasonable doubt (with the assistance of potential legal presumptions) that alcohol or drugs impaired your ability to operate the vehicle you are alleged to have operated. This operation need not be actual driving. While this violation can be charged by itself, it is usually charged in New York City and elsewhere as a lesser offense to the misdemeanor DWI crimes of VTL 1192.2 and VTL 1192.3.

Penalties for New York DWAI

Up to fifteen days in jail
A minimum fine of $300 and a maximum fine of $500
A surcharge of $255 as well as an assessment on your license of $250 for three year 90 day license suspension (you may be eligible for a conditional license)
Required attendance at a Victim Impact Panel where you will listen to victims of DWI
Victim Impact Panel

Enhanced Penalties for Second DWAI

Up to thirty days in jail
A minimum of a $500 fine and a maximum of a $750 fine
At least a six months revocation of your license

Other Important Issues Relating to VTL 1192.1

While it is possible at times to have a case dismissed on speedy trial ground, the law in New York State is that DWAI is not subject to speedy trial rules pursuant to CPL 30.30. In other words, sometimes the prosecution does not meet their legal burden to commence a timely trial. In such a case, your criminal lawyer or DWI attorney will file a motion to have your misdemeanor DWI charges dismissed. However, because DWAI is an infraction and not a crime, CPL 30.30 does not apply. Fortunately, some lower courts have slightly modified this law and constitutional protections still apply.

Because so much is at stake, whether you are only charged with DWAI or charged with this offense along with misdemeanor crimes, seek experienced legal representation to safely help navigate you through the criminal justice system.

Call the New York City drunk driving attorneys and former Manhattan prosecutors at (212) 312-7129 or contact us online today.

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