If you have recently been charged with a DUI or DWAI, you probably are aware that the term DWAI means “driving while ability impaired.” This impairment can be a result of prescription medications (such as narcotics), or illegal drugs like marijuana or cocaine). A DWAI case addresses the particular level of impairment of a driver. In New York a driver who is operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol content (called a BAC) of .04 up to .07 is can be considered physically or mentally impaired. If you have been charged with a DWAI, it is very important that you contact a New York DWAI Lawyer as soon as possible. These cases can have a substantial impact on your personal and professional life.
In New York, a DWAI is a criminal law violation. Depending on how many charges you have had against you, the penalties can be quite severe. First time offenders can expect a fine between $500.-$1,000., including potential jail time (up to a year), and loss of your driver’s license. A second violation within a ten year period bumps the fine up to $1,000.-$5,000., and the jail time can go up to 4 years. Also note that more than one offense during a ten year period can result in a Felony conviction, and more fines. A third offense within ten years can cost you up to $10,000. in fines, 7 years in jail, and your license being permanently revoked.
If you were stopped by police for suspicion of DWAI, you were probably given a sobriety test. There are three tests that the police use to determine sobriety; a screening test, a field sobriety test or a chemical test. Commonly, a field sobriety test includes things like touching your finger to your nose, standing on one leg, walking a line and turning around, and reciting the alphabet backwards. These tests are frequently used to determine balance, coordination and mental capacity of a person. A screening type test would include a portable breathalyzer test to measure blood alcohol. A chemical test will could be given which could involve a blood test (these tests must be given within two hours of the arrest).
Breath tests are occasionally found to be unpredictable. Things like mouthwash, cough syrups and breath sprays can alter the results of breathalyzer and intoxilyzer machines used to measure BAC. It can also be argued that body temperature variances can affect the readings. This is a good example of why it is so important to have a New York DWI Lawyer represent you if you are facing these types of charges. Your lawyer will be able to construct a defense strategy and know to ask all the right questions regarding the BAC tests.
Facing a DWAI charge can be a daunting prospect. The effects of these charges can greatly impact your future. With the aid and guidance of a Nassau County Criminal Lawyer you may be able to lessen the severity of your charges, or even potentially get your case dismissed. At a minimum, your lawyer may even convince the court to allow you to keep your license in effect so you can continue to go to work.
The Office of Stephen Bilkis and Associates can offer you support and guidance as well as a free consultation when you contact us at 1-800-NY-NY-LAW. We have offices in New York City, including Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, Staten Island and The Bronx and in Nassau County, Suffolk County and Westchester County.