New York takes a no-nonsense approach to drunk driving. While driving while intoxicated (DWI) is classified as a misdemeanor for a first offense, repeat offenses are charged as felonies that carry severe penalties for the driver.
A 35-year-old man with a history of drunk driving was arrested after being accused of speeding at 145 miles per hour on Interstate 890 in New York. He was charged with felony DWI, aggravated unlicensed driving, refusal to take a breath test, operating a vehicle without an interlock device, reckless driving and other traffic violations.
Rotterdam Police took Michael A. Agosto into custody after determining he was intoxicated and driving more than twice the speed limit. He already had multiple license suspensions and repeat DWI convictions.
According to officers who stopped Agosto, he failed a field sobriety test and refused to take a breath test. He also did not have an ignition interlock device installed in his vehicle as required after prior drunk driving convictions.
In New York, anyone who is arrested for suspected drunk driving must submit to a formal breath test to measure their blood alcohol content. Refusing the breathalyzer will result in further punishment, such as fines and driver’s license revocation, on top of being charged with a DWI.
Police said Agosto had five drunk driving convictions over the past decade. He previously served two prison sentences for DWI convictions in Montgomery County. The prior convictions cost him his driver’s license and required him to install an ignition interlock device in his vehicle.
The consequences for drunk driving are harsher for repeat DWI offenders as previous convictions are considered during sentencing. Offenders can expect a longer jail sentence, heftier fines and loss of their driving privileges for a longer time. The purpose of the strict penalties is to deter people from committing a DWI offense again.
Anyone who has been arrested for a repeat DWI in New York should contact an experienced defense lawyer immediately. The skilled legal team at Brill Legal Group may be able to reduce a felony charge to a misdemeanor, negotiate a favorable plea deal or get the charges dismissed entirely. We know exactly how prosecutors pursue such cases and have the strategies needed to protect your freedom. Contact us today for a free initial consultation.