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Central New York Criminal Law Attorneys

Driving while Intoxicated, or DWI, is a dangerous but common violation of New York law that prohibits drivers from operating vehicles if they are drunk. The state considers a driver too impaired to drive safely if their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08 percent or higher. When a driver is stopped for suspicion of DWI, officers use a field sobriety test to determine balance and coordination, and a breathalyzer to measure BAC. Refusal to submit to testing means mandatory revoking of your driver’s license for at least 1 year in New York.

The level of impairment caused by alcohol varies from person to person, and depends on five conditions:

  • amount of alcohol you drink
  • length of time you consume alcohol
  • amount of food eaten before and/or while drinking alcohol
  • body weight
  • gender

The state uses alcohol levels in the blood, presence of drugs and other factors to categorize driving violations. Penalties for alcohol or drug-related violations include the loss of one’s driver’s license, fines, and possible jail time.

Types of Alcohol- and Drug-Related Violations in New York:

  • Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) – 0.08 BAC or higher, or other evidence of intoxication.
  • Aggravated DWI – 0.18 BAC or higher
  • Driving While Ability Impaired by Alcohol (DWAI/Alcohol) – more than 0.05 BAC but less than 0.07 BAC, or other evidence of impairment
  • DWAI by a Single Drug other than Alcohol (DWAI/Drug)
  • DWAI by a Combined Influence of Drugs or Alcohol (DWAI/Combination)
  • Chemical Test Refusal: refusal 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 who drives with a .02 BAC to .07 BAC violates the Zero Tolerance Law

DWI Legal Help

The consequences of driving drunk can profoundly affect your life, possibly your livelihood. The penalties can be severe, especially for repeat offenses. Given what’s at stake, finding a criminal defense lawyer to help with your case may be advisable. It’s important to make sure you hire an attorney who knows New York’s DWI law, like the legal team at Nicholas, Perot, Smith, Welch & Smith. Our attorneys have worked with a number of Central New York residents facing DWI charges, and we know how to mount a vigorous defense.

Determining Driver Impairment

Law enforcement has several methods of determining how much a driver’s ability to operate a vehicle is impaired. In addition to the field test, officers observe a driver’s appearance, speech or behavior during the traffic stop or later during the arrest. Blood alcohol levels may be measured with a blood test instead, or in addition to, breath analysis. All of this is subject to how accurately tests are administered, as well as the measuring devices’ accuracy. A DWI defense might include verifying the accuracy or veracity of all the testing.

Possible DWI Expungement

To qualify for DWI Expungement, you need to satisfy the law’s eligibility requirements. With this program, DWI offenders learn to understand the effects of alcohol and drugs on the body, and the consequences of a DWI. Attending DWI School may be mandated with a guilty plea or verdict.

You can rely on the combined legal experience of the attorneys at Nicholas, Perot, Smith, Welch & Smith to offer sound advice on how to present your case, and to fight for your rights throughout. Contact us for a free consultation regarding your criminal or DWI case, and let us help you.

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