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Driving While Intoxicated/Impaired

Getting a DWI can affect your career, your finances, and even put your freedom in jeopardy. The attorneys at Young and Young understand how daunting the whole process can be. They are ready to help guide you through the criminal justice system and make sure you are treated fairly. Understanding the law and knowing your rights are both crucial if you want to make an effective defense. Contact Young and Young to see how they can help you.

DWAIs, Misdemeanor DWIs, and Felony DWIs

New York has several different drunk driving offenses on the books. The differences between them include your blood alcohol content (BAC) at the time of your arrest, as well as any aggravating factors that were involved in the offense.

DWAIs, or driving while alcohol impaired, is technically a traffic violation, not a crime. DWAIs happen when the arresting officer thinks that you were impaired by alcohol while driving, but your BAC level is still under the legal limit of 0.08%.

If your BAC is at or above 0.08% and you get pulled over and arrested, you will likely get charged with a misdemeanor DWI. However, if you have a prior DWI conviction on your record, it can become a felony charge.

Penalties for First and Subsequent Offenses

DWI offenses are “priorable,” meaning they come with worse penalties for every prior offense you have on your criminal record. In New York, for standard DWIs that have no extenuating or aggravating circumstances, these penalties look like this:

 

Classification

Fine

Maximum Jail Time

License Suspension

First offense

Misdemeanor

$500 - $1,000

1 year

At least six months

Second Offense

Class E felony

$1,000 - $5,000

4 years

At least one year

Third offense

Class D felony

$2,000 - $10,000

7 years

At least one year

If there are aggravating factors, however, these penalties can be worse.

Underage DWI

For drivers under the drinking age of 21, though, DWI is much more stringent: New York's Zero Tolerance law prohibits underage drivers from being on the road with a BAC over 0.02%. If your BAC is over this limit, but beneath 0.08%, you could be charged with a traffic infraction that comes with a light fine and a six-month license suspension. If your BAC was between 0.05% and 0.08% and you are under 21, though, prosecutors have the option of pursuing a DWAI charge, instead.

DWI for Commercial Drivers

Like underage drivers, commercial drivers in New York are also held to a higher standard by our DWI laws: Their legal limit is 0.04% BAC, rather than 0.08%. Importantly, this lower BAC standard applies regardless of what vehicle you are driving. As long as you hold a commercial driver's license (CDL), you need to abide by this lower limit, even if you are driving your personal vehicle.

Drugged Driving

Finally, New York's DWI laws apply to any chemical substance that can impair your driving ability. This includes both alcohol and drugs, even if those drugs were legally obtained and you have a prescription from your doctor.

New York DWI-Defense Lawyers at Young & Young

If you have been pulled over, arrested, and charged for DWI in New York, call the DWI-defense attorneys at Young & Young at (631) 224-7500 or contact us online.

Over 25 Years Experience

When you've been charged with a DWI or traffic offense, call for an attorney with over 25 years experience who is also a retired New York Police Department Sergeant who knows both sides.

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