If you’re facing charges of intoxicated driving, then our team can explain DUI and DWI on Long Island. In fact, DUI (driving under the influence) is not a relevant acronym for allegedly impaired drivers on Long Island. As the New York Division of Criminal Justice Services explains, New York Law uses driving while intoxicated (DWI) – not DUI – in its criminal statutes.
DWI and Similar Charges on Long Island
Driving while intoxicated may be the most well-known charge for impaired drivers on Long Island. Section 1192 of the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law (VTL) defines an impaired driver as one who “has .08 of one per centum or more by weight of alcohol in the person’s blood as shown by chemical analysis of such person’s blood, breath, urine or saliva.”
DWI is not the only charge impaired drivers may face. VTL § 1192 also defines other DWI-related offenses, including:
- Driving while ability impaired (DWAI): This offense provides less specific criteria than DWI. This statute states that someone must not drive if “the person’s ability to operate such motor vehicle is impaired by the consumption of alcohol.”
- Aggravated driving while intoxicated: Someone commits aggravated driving while intoxicated if their blood alcohol content (BAC) is .18 or greater at the time of testing.
- DWI with a child: You may face more significant penalties if you’re charged with DWI and a child aged 15 or younger was in the vehicle.
- Driving while ability impaired by drugs: A law enforcement officer may determine drug impairment by test or by observation.
- Driving while ability impaired by the combined influence of drugs or of alcohol and any drug or drugs: You may be charged with this offense if law enforcement determines you’re under the influence of both drugs and alcohol.
Any one of these charges is serious. You could face a combination of charges for these offenses – DWAI by drugs and DWI with a child, for example.
How May Law Enforcement Determine Your Intoxication?
A law enforcement officer needs probable cause to charge you with any DWI-related offense. Some possible grounds for arrest may include:
- The results of a breathalyzer test
- Your performance on a field sobriety test
- Results from testing blood, urine, or saliva
- Visual observation of your speech, actions, and general demeanor
Some forms of probable cause may be stronger than others. A chemical test could be stronger than mere observation of your behavior. Your attorney will consider why you were arrested for DWI on Long Island as they craft your defense.
Possible Criminal Penalties for DWI on Long Island
You may generally face stiffer and stiffer consequences with each DWI charge. Penalties may also be more severe if you’re charged with multiple DWIs in a certain span of time.
Penalties for DWI and DWI-related offenses may include:
DWAI Involving Alcohol
You may only face a traffic infraction for a first or second DWAI offense involving alcohol. For a third conviction of DWAI involving alcohol within ten years, you may face a misdemeanor charge. Penalties for your DWAI involving alcohol may include:
- First offense: Up to 15 days in jail, a fine of up to $500, 90-day revocation of your license
- Second offense: Up to 30 days in jail, a fine of up to $750, six-month revocation of your license
- Third offense: Up to 180 days in jail, a fine of up to $1,500, six-month revocation of your license
Penalties may vary based on case-specific factors.
Other DWAI Offenses
DWAI offenses involving drugs or drugs and alcohol may have more serious penalties than a DWAI involving only alcohol. For a DWAI involving drugs or drugs and alcohol, you may face:
- First conviction: Up to one year in jail, fine of up to $1,000, six-month license revocation
- Second conviction: Up to four years in jail, fine of up to $5,000, one-year license revocation
- Third conviction: Up to seven years in jail, fine of up to $10,000, permanent license revocation
With each conviction, your exposure to more severe penalties increases.
The potential criminal penalties for DWI mirror those of non-alcohol DWAI offenses.
Should You Hire a Lawyer for a DWI Case on Long Island?
DWI and DWAI cases are serious. A qualified lawyer can defend you. An effective defense could spare you jail time, significant fines, and other severe consequences. A conviction for DWI or DWAI may also affect you professionally and personally. Let a lawyer fight for your future.
Call the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP Today
A charge of DWI threatens everything you’ve worked hard for. From your reputation to your professional standing, the stakes of a conviction are great. The Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP can help, whether you’re the victim of drunk driving or are facing a DWI charge.
Call the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP today at (516) 358-6900 for a FREE consultation.
For a free legal consultation, call 516-358-6900The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only. Information on this website may not constitute the most up-to-date legal or other information and may not be applicable in your jurisdiction.