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DUI/DWI Attorney

Below we have re-posted some of the penalties and common questions associated with Driving While Intoxicated in New York State from the DMV’s website.

A Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) charge in New York State is a very serious matter, and it’s a charge that roughly 1,000 New Yorkers get every single week! If you think that you can explain yourself out of this situation to a judge you are surely mistaken, even if it’s your first run-in with the police. With so many DWI cases going on throughout New York State, many judges, prosecuting attorneys and even criminal defense attorneys feel that little can actually be done with a DWI charge; and make it seem as if a DWI is transactional or automated process that can leave you with heavy fines, a criminal record and even jail! This doesn’t have to be the case…

There is hope! That hope comes down to having a highly skilled DWI lawyer on your side. A good DWI lawyer will obviously have decent plea bargaining abilities but in addition, have extensive training and understanding of things such as field sobriety tests, breath tests, blood tests, and all the mechanisms and procedures that the police can use against you. So make sure that you contact a real DWI Defense Lawyer, not a lawyer who simply says that they handle DWIs.

The highly skilled DWI attorneys that are featured on our site are lawyers who have dedicated at least 90% of their practice to New York State DWI. In addition many of our HometownLawyers have extensive accreditations and training in this very precise area of law.

The Drinking and Driving laws keep getting tougher in New York State, be sure to read below about having an Ignition Interlock Breath Device attached to your vehicle’s ignition. As of August 15, 2010 this has been a requirement with all DWI convictions.

Below we have re-posted some of the penalties and common questions associated with Driving While Intoxicated in New York State from the DMV’s website.

What are the alcohol and drug-related violations in New York State?

BAC = blood alcohol concentration

  • DWI: Driving While Intoxicated; .08 BAC or higher or other evidence of intoxication. For drivers of commercial motor vehicles, .04 BAC or other evidence of intoxication.
  • Aggravated DWI: Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated: .18 BAC or higher.
  • DWAI/Alcohol: Driving While Ability Impaired (by alcohol); more than .05 BAC to .07 BAC, or other evidence of impairment. For drivers of commercial motor vehicles who are under age 21, .02 BAC or other evidence of impairment.
  • DWAI/Drug: Driving While Ability Impaired by a single Drug other than alcohol.
  • DWAI/Combination: Driving While Ability Impaired by a Combined Influence of Drugs or Alcohol.
  • Chemical Test Refusal: A driver who refuses to take a chemical test (normally a test of breath, blood or urine) can receive a driver license revocation of at least one year (18 months for a commercial driver) and must pay a $500 civil penalty ($550 for a driver of commercial vehicles) to apply for a new driver license. A driver who refuses a chemical test during the five years after a DWI-related charge or previous refusal will have their driver license revoked for at least 18 months (permanent for a commercial driver) and must pay a $750 civil penalty to apply for a new driver license. If the driver is under age 21, and refuses a chemical test during the five years after a DWI-related charge or previous refusal, they will have their driver license revoked for at least one year or until age 21, whichever is longer and must pay a $750 civil penalty to apply for a new driver license.
  • Zero Tolerance Law: A driver who is less than 21 years of age and who drives with a .02 BAC to .07 BAC violates the Zero Tolerance Law.

What are the penalties for Alcohol-related or Drug-related Violations?

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  1. Greater penalties can also apply for multiple alcohol or drug violations within a 10-year period.
  2. Surcharges are added to misdemeanors ($160) and felonies ($270).
  3. The driver license penalties for drivers under the age of 21, and for drivers of commercial motor vehicles and other professional drivers, are different.
  4. 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.
  5. A driver with an Aggravated DWI violation conviction within the prior 10 years will receive a minimum 18-month revocation if convicted of DWI, DWAI/Drugs or

DWAI/Combination. Also a driver with a prior DWI, Aggravated DWI, DWAI/Drugs or DWAI/Combination with the prior 10 years will receive a minimum 18-month revocation.

Can I get a conditional license if I was convicted of DWI or DWAI?

If you receive your first conviction for DWI or DWAI and you participate in the Drinking Driver Program (DDP), you can receive a conditional license. The DMV determines if you are eligible for the DDP. A judge can stop your enrollment in the DDP. To get complete information read the DMV brochure, The Drinking Driver Program (pdf document).

The law mandates participation in the DDP, even if the driver is not eligible for a conditional license, for convictions of specific alcohol or drug-related violations, or in specific plea-bargaining situations.

See the DMV brochure, You and the Drinking Driving Laws, for more information about DWI.

What is “Leandra’s Law”?

Leandra’s Law was signed into law on November 18, 2009 in honor of Leandra Rosado. Leandra was an 11-year old killed while she rode in a vehicle with the intoxicated mother of one of her friends. In response to this tragedy, the NYS Legislature made several changes to the Vehicle and Traffic Law (VTL). The law strengthened the penalties against motorists who drink and drive, and requires that:

  • A person sentenced for Driving While Intoxicated on or after August 15, 2010 have an ignition interlock device installed on any vehicle they own or operate, and
  • the driver have an “ignition interlock” restriction added to their driver license.

See additional information about Leandra’s Law at the NYS Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee Alcohol, Drugs and DWI page.

What are the different parts of Leandra’s Law and what are the penalties for conviction?

Leandra’s Law includes the following provisions:

Aggravated DWI/Child in Vehicle.”The law establishes this new Class E Felony. The law states that no person shall operate a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs while a child who is 15 years of age or younger is a passenger in the vehicle.

Ignition Interlock Requirement. A court must sentence a person convicted of either Aggravated DWI/Child in Vehicle or Aggravated DWI/Driving with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of .18 or More to a period of probation or to a conditional discharge. The court must require the installation and use of an ignition interlock device in any motor vehicle owned or operated by a person convicted under this law. The ignition interlock device must remain in the vehicle for at least six months.

Driving While Intoxicated.A court that sentences a person for a Driving While Intoxicated conviction on or after August 15, 2010 must impose a conditional discharge or probation. A condition of the sentence must be the installation and use of an ignition interlock device in any motor vehicle the person owns or operates. The ignition interlock device must remain in the vehicle for at least six months.

What is an “Ignition Interlock Device”?

An ignition interlock device connects to a motor vehicle 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.

If ignition interlock is ordered by a court, the system must be installed on each vehicle the motorist owns or operates. The device must remain installed for at least six months. The ignition interlock restriction will be added to the driver license record even if the license is revoked. The restriction will appear on the back of the driver license document as “interlock device”.

Courts and probation departments will direct convicted motorists to vendors for ignition interlock installation. The Web site of the Office of Probation and Correctional Alternatives provides details on ignition interlock device vendors and information from the manufacturers of the device.

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