Answering Your DWI Questions
What is DWI?
DWI stands for “driving while intoxicated.” It is illegal in New York for anyone to drive while intoxicated by alcohol or drugs.
What is the max blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) level before a person is considered intoxicated in New York?
For DWI per se, the state is required to show a BAC of .08 percent. However, a driver can be charged and convicted of DWI even without establishing this BAC level.
How severe are the penalties for DWI in New York?
The severity of the penalties depends on BAC level, previous convictions and other factors. For a conviction of a first DWI offense, the minimum penalties include $500 in fines, six months of a license suspension and mandatory ignition interlock device. These penalties will increase with multiple convictions.
Can I refuse to consent to a blood or breath test?
While you can, technically, refuse to submit a blood or breath test, it is generally not the smart choice. New York is an “implied consent” state, which means that all drivers are considered to have already given their consent to these tests by the fact of operating a vehicle in the state. Refusal to submit could result in administrative fines and loss of license. Further, these penalties will not prevent the state from prosecuting on the actual DWI charge, and the police or the District Attorney could get a court order compelling you to take the test anyway.
Will I lose my driver’s license for DWI?
For a first offense, drivers convicted of DWI lose driving privilege for six months, minimum.
Can I fight DWI charges myself?
As you can tell from the answers above, DWI is a serious criminal charge, and even a first conviction could carry significant penalties. Although you can fight these charges on your own, it is not a wise choice. You will face numerous roadblocks and unforeseen legal complications. Without proper training and knowledge of the law, you are putting yourself at unnecessary risk. Talk with an attorney from Bekoff, Feinman, Lo Piccolo & Kauffman, P.C., to get the help you need.