DWI

CHARGED WITH DWI?

Our Team Of Experienced DWI Lawyers Can Help

Drunk driving is a serious crime and New York is known for having some of the toughest DWI/DUI laws in the country. If you are convicted of an alcohol or drug-related driving offense, you could face serious penalties, including:

  • Suspension of your license;
  • Expensive fines;
  • Jail time.

Additionally, the DMV can assess its own penalties; typically a mandatory surcharge, a mandatory fee for assistance to crime victims, and a three-year Driver Responsibility Assessment. If you are convicted of a second DWI/DUI offense within 10 years of your first conviction, you may face felony charges.

Because of New York State’s STOP-DWI law, enforcement and prosecution of DWI/DUI cases are becoming more intense and complex. This law allows Westchester County, and all other counties in the state, to coordinate efforts to reduce alcohol or drug-related crashes on the road. Because of this law, there are more police with specialized training and equipment patrolling for drunk or impaired drivers.

No two DWI/DUI cases are the same and the potential outcome of your case depends on the facts and having an experienced attorney. Have you been arrested for a DWI or DUI? Contact us immediately. We can help!

Chemical Test for Blood Alcohol Content (“BAC”)

New York State law allows a police officer to stop you if he or she believes you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. During the stop, you will be asked to take a “field sobriety test”. This may include a breath test for the presence of alcohol. If you are arrested, you will be asked to take a “chemical test” for your BAC, which usually involves a blood or urine test.

If you refuse a chemical test for BAC, your license is automatically suspended at arraignment. However, you are entitled to a DMV hearing within 15 days of the suspension. At the hearing, if it is determined that the police officer was justified in stopping you, your license to drive in New York will be revoked for at least one year. A second offense will result in an 18-month revocation. If, however, it is determined that the officer did not have the basis or probable cause to stop you, your driving privileges will be restored.

Do you have a DMV hearing scheduled? It is important that you contact us immediately – don’t forfeit your rights or compound your problem.

Commercial Driver License

In New York, every driver with a Commercial Driver License (Class A, B, or C) is held to stricter blood alcohol content standards. A single conviction for DWI, DWAI or having a .04 percent or higher BAC requires a minimum 1-year revocation of the commercial driver license. Commercial drivers that transport hazardous materials have their licenses revoked for a three-year period. Additionally, a second conviction within the driver’s lifetime results in permanent revocation of this license, with a possible waiver after 10 years. A third conviction results in a permanent revocation without any possibility of getting the license back. Additionally, in New York, commercial drivers do not receive any conditional or hardship driving privileges for driving a commercial vehicle.

Leandra’s Law & Ignition Interlock Devices

“Leandra’s Law” (The Child Passenger Protection Act) provides harsh penalties for a driver convicted of a DWI with a child under age 16 in the car. The law made New York’s consequences for drunk driving among the strictest in the nation. Because of this law, any person sentenced for a DWI must have an ignition interlock device installed on any vehicle they own or operate. In addition, they must have an “ignition interlock” restriction added to their driver license.

What is an Ignition Interlock Device?

An Ignition Interlock Device connects to a car’s ignition system and measures the alcohol content in the breath of the operator. The device prevents the vehicle from being started until the motorist provides an acceptable breath sample. The device may also require breath samples periodically while the vehicle is in use. If any alcohol is detected, the ignition will turn off.

For a first conviction, a driver must have the device installed for six months. For any subsequent convictions, the device will need to be installed for the time period that matches the length that the license was suspended. For example, if your license was suspended for a year after the second conviction, then you will be required to have the device installed for one year on your vehicle. Drivers are responsible for any fees related to the installation and monthly monitoring of the device.

The State of New York has multiple offense classifications for impaired drivers. Types of alcohol and drug-related violations in New York State are as follows:

  • Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) – .08 Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) or higher, or other evidence of intoxication. For drivers of commercial motor vehicles: .04 BAC or other evidence of intoxication.
  • Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated (Aggravated DWI) – .18 BAC or higher
  • Driving While Ability Impaired by Alcohol (DWAI/Alcohol) – More than .05 BAC, but less than .07 BAC, or other evidence of impairment.
  • Driving While Ability Impaired by a Single Drug, not Alcohol (DWAI/Drug)
  • Driving While Ability Impaired by a Combined Influence of Drugs or Alcohol (DWAI/Combination)
  • Chemical Test Refusal – A driver who refuses to take a chemical test (normally a test of breath, blood or urine).
  • Zero Tolerance Law – A driver who is less than 21 years of age and drives with a .02 BAC to .07 BAC violates the Zero Tolerance Law.

The penalties for an alcohol or drug-related violation include the loss of driving privileges, fines, and a possible jail term.

In addition, under New York law greater penalties apply:

  • For multiple alcohol or drug violations within a 25-year period
  • Surcharges are added to alcohol-related misdemeanors ($260) and felonies; generally $400, but varies slightly depending on the court of conviction.
  • Three or more alcohol or drug-related convictions or refusals within 10 years can result in permanent revocation (with a waiver request permitted after at least 5 years)
  • Generally, an Aggravated DWI violation conviction within the prior 10 years will receive a minimum 18-month revocation.
  • Prior convictions of an Aggravated DWI, DWI, DWAI/Drug, DWAI/in combination with a vehicular assault, an aggravated vehicular assault, or vehicular manslaughter and vehicular homicide three or more times in the preceding 15-year period is guilty of a Class D felony