New York DUI/DWI Lawyer
New York has a zero-tolerance approach to drunk driving that is enforced via the two main charges of driving while intoxicated (DWI) and driving while ability impaired (DWAI). The more common charge is DWI, which means that a driver is legally intoxicated with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of at least 0.08 percent.
Drunk driving charges can disrupt your life in many ways. There is a lot at stake when you are accused of a DWI in New York, even for first-time offenders. When you are in the stressful situation of being arrested for DWI, you need skilled legal representation by your side.
New York Drinking and Driving Defense Attorney
The frightening thing about a DWI arrest is that it can happen to anyone. You may think there is no harm in having a few alcoholic drinks at an office party. But just imagine what may happen if you get behind the wheel later and fail to come to a complete halt at a stop sign. You could end up getting arrested and charged for a DWI offense for violating the law. DWI arrests can occur in a variety of scenarios including traffic stops, drunk driving checkpoints and car accidents.
The DWI lawyers at Brill Legal Group understand the necessity of taking swift action in order to protect your rights and driving privileges. We will help you navigate the complex state laws that govern DWI offenses.
There are many different types of DWI offenses in New York. Brill Legal Group can help you with the following:
When was drunk driving made illegal in New York?
New York made drunk driving illegal in 1910 and was the first state to address driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI.) This DUI/DWI law came at a time when automobiles were becoming increasingly common, and the dangers of operating them under the influence of alcohol were becoming apparent. The law defined intoxication and established penalties for those found driving while drunk. This move set a precedent, not only in New York but across the United States.
DWI/DUI Penalties in New York
DWI offenses carry a broad range of potential penalties that increase in severity for repeat convictions. DWI convictions also become a permanent part of your record. A DWI first offense is a misdemeanor in New York, while subsequent drunk driving offenses are classified as felonies.
As drunk driving can put others in danger, there are harsh penalties even for first-time offenders. Each DWI arrest will have different consequences depending on the driver’s BAC and factors like age and circumstances of the arrest. Here are some of the penalties that individuals convicted of drunk driving may face:
• Jail time
• Fines, including up to $2,500 if BAC exceeds 0.18
• Driver’s license revocation or suspension. At least six months’ suspension for a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher. Duration of suspension typically increases for drivers with a BAC that exceeds 0.18 percent.
• Alcohol education classes
• Mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device in your vehicle that will not allow a car to start if a certain level of alcohol is detected.
DWI repeat offenders face tougher punishments including longer jail sentences, heftier fines and a longer period of driver’s license revocation. For instance, a first DWI conviction is punishable by up to a year in jail, while a second conviction can lead to a four-year sentence. The court takes previous drunk driving convictions into account during sentencing and adopts a strict approach to prevent the individual from driving while intoxicated again.
Drivers may be charged with aggravated DWI if the amount of alcohol in their bloodstream exceeds twice the legal limit — in other words, if the BAC measures 0.18 or greater. In New York, higher levels of intoxication mean tougher penalties. There are also designated penalties for underage DWI.
Fighting a DWI charge can be difficult enough, but many times prosecutors also include related charges. For example, driving drunk with a child in the vehicle will result in an Endangering a Child charge under Leandra’s Law. Other additional charges may include Driving Under the Influence of Drugs (DUID), reckless driving or fleeing a police officer. The situation could be even worse if a traffic accident occurred due to drunk driving.
With the help of an experienced New York DWI lawyer, it may be possible to reduce a felony charge to a misdemeanor. Brill Legal Group can evaluate the details of your charges to minimize potential consequences and strive for the best outcome in your case.
In New York, the key difference between DWI and DWAI is the driver’s BAC. DWAI means that the driver’s BAC is between 0.05 and 0.07 percent, or there is other evidence that the driver is impaired. A DWAI charge is typically less severe than a DWI as it is classified as a traffic infraction. However, the precise penalties for a DWAI conviction depend on the details of the charge and whether the driver has past convictions.
A first-time DWAI conviction involving alcohol carries the standard penalties of a fine between $300 to $500, up to 15 days in jail and a 90-day mandatory driver’s license suspension. There are incrementally harsher punishments for each subsequent DWAI conviction.
Another aspect that makes a DWAI charge different from a DWI is that a DWAI specifies the presence of substances impairing the driver. A driver can be charged with DWAI-Drugs or DWAI-Alcohol depending on the substance identified in their bloodstream. Even without a blood or breath test, behavior such as slurred speech or erratic driving can trigger a DWAI-Alcohol charge.
Additionally, a DWAI-Drugs charge is not limited just to drugs like marijuana or cocaine. Some prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications can be dangerous when it comes to impairing someone’s ability to drive. In New York, it is illegal to drive while impaired by any drug, even prescription medications.
Understanding all the different driving-related charges in the state can be overwhelming and confusing. As a result, it is important to have skilled representation by your side to explain the charges against you as well as the available legal options. The DWI and DWAI attorneys at Brill Legal Group will fight to protect your driving privileges.
BAC Chemical Testing in New York
Law enforcement relies heavily on breathalyzers and BAC chemical testing when seeking a DWI conviction. However, these methods are not conclusive evidence of drunk driving and do not mean an automatic conviction. There is always a possibility that arresting officers have made errors in handling your situation, which we can use to your benefit.
New York courts have ruled that a driver arrested for suspected drunk driving must submit to a breath test for BAC. This means that if you drive a car in the state, you implicitly give your consent to being tested for alcohol in your system.
Refusal to submit to testing after being pulled over can lead to your driver’s license being revoked and other consequences such as fines or a license suspension. However, you are entitled to a DMV hearing after your refusal. In such circumstances, having a skilled DWI lawyer significantly boosts your chances of success at this hearing.
New York DWI/DUI Defense Attorney
When you are facing serious consequences for drunk driving in New York, you need an experienced defense attorney who has an in-depth understanding of the law and a successful track record of helping clients. Brill Legal Group provides effective representation to New York drivers who have been arrested for drunk driving offenses. We will help you navigate the entire legal process and fight aggressively for your rights, whether it is your first DWI arrest or a repeat offense.
Our lawyers know how to handle all types of DWI cases and understand that you cannot afford to have your driver’s license revoked or suspended. The loss of your driving privileges can affect every area of your life, such as your ability to socialize with friends or to earn a living. Our goal is to keep you on the road and ensure you stay out of jail. In addition to defending you in court, Brill Legal Group’s attorneys are experienced in handling DMV hearings. We know how to help you qualify for conditional licenses that will enable you to drive to work.
Contact Brill Legal Group today for a free consultation. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year. Your call will always be answered, no matter what time of day.
Suffolk 631-204-8254 – Manhattan 212-233-4141 – Nassau 516-206-2002
Toll free 888-315-9841
Contact us today for a free consultation. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year. 888-315-9841
Brill Legal Group Delivers Results
Our client, a Croton-on-Hudson (Westchester County) resident, was charged in Bronx County with DWI and refusing the chemical test. Police claimed they found a half-full bottle of vodka in the client’s car. After a week-long jury trial with multiple police and civilian witnesses, the jury returned a Not Guilty verdict in less than half an hour.