Drunk driving, or driving while intoxicated, is a serious crime in New York. A DWI can result in the suspension of your license, the imposition of fines, and even jail time.
Evidence of driving drunk
In New York, the state will use your blood alcohol concentration as evidence that you were driving drunk. If you are 21 years of age or older, a BAC of .08 percent will get you a DWI. If you drive a commercial motor vehicle, .04 percent BAC is considered driving while intoxicated. If you are under the legal drinking age, however, a BAC of .02 percent is sufficient to charge you with a DWI.
A DWI is not the only charge associated with driving under the influence. DWAI, or driving while ability impaired, refers specifically to alcohol, but a DWAI/drug involves ability impaired by a drug other than alcohol. It is also possible that you can be charged with a DWAI/combination, which involves being found impaired by both one or more drugs and alcohol. An aggravated DWI involves a BAC of 0.18 or higher.
DWI penalties can depend on a wide range of factors, including BAC, age, substance used, license status, prior violations, the results of a chemical test, and willingness to be tested.
Younger than 21 years old
If you are younger than 21 years of age and have broken NY’s Zero Tolerance Law, as a result of being found driving with a BAC of .02 percent or higher, you may face legal consequences.
For a first offense, punishment may include having your license suspended for six months, a civil penalty of $125, possible enrollment in New York Drinking Driver Program, and potentially an ignition interlock device installation. Costs for the driver program and interlock device will be assumed by the driver as well. For a second offense, the punishment may also include the revocation of your license.
21 years and older
If you are older than 21 years of age and are found driving with a BAC of .08 percent or higher, you may face the following legal consequences.
For a first offense, you may be required to pay a $500 to $1,000 fine, to pay a minimum $250 annual assessment fine for a period of three years as part of the state’s Driver Responsibility Program, to serve up one year in jail, and to possibly enroll in New York Drinking Driver Program. For a second offense, the punishment may involve revocation of your license for at least one year, a fine of $1,000 to $5,000, a minimum $250 annual assessment fine for three years as part of the state’s Driver Responsibility Program, up to four years in jail, possible enrollment in New York Drinking Driver Program, and potentially an ignition interlock device installation.
If you have been charged with a DWI, it is advisable that you seek legal counsel. Lipsitz Green Scime Cambria, located in Buffalo, has attorneys who are widely recognized as leaders in the field. The DWI lawyers at Lipsitz Green have in-depth knowledge of a client’s rights, the potential penalties that may arise, and the possible weaknesses in charges against a client. We are dedicated to providing a tough and effective DWI defense.
This article does not purport to give legal advice and is for informational purposes only.