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).