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Understand the Factors Impacting Your BAC


New Driving While Intoxicated (DWI / DUI) Blood / Breath Alcohol Content (BAC) Calculator: Understand the Factors Impacting Your BAC Before You Need a Criminal Lawyer

There are a couple of factors that determine the severity of the charge against you. For one, the law considers the number of DWI offenses you’ve actually been convicted or plead guilty to. First offenses are not treated nearly as harshly as subsequent offenses and the penalties get much worse each time you break this law.

If you submitted to a chemical test of your blood (the most common method being a breath test) and “scored” .08 BAC or more, your license shall be suspended at arraignment. This is called a Suspension pending Prosecution (NY VTL §1193[2](e)(7)).

If you had a valid driver’s license prior to the suspension pending prosecution and did not have a prior conviction for Driving While Intoxicated or Impaired, or complete the Drinking Driver Program within the proceeding five (5) years, you may be eligible for a conditional license after the expiration of 30 days. The conditional license will be issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles.

What happens when you are charged with DWI and how is the seriousness of the offense determined? There are two primary factors that determine how serious a specific DWI charge is:

A. Your Blood Alcohol Level (BAC)
B. The number of prior DWI offenses that you have been convicted of.

The two ways in which your BAC can be measured (by driving on the highways or roads of New Jersey you have automatically consented and have no right to refuse (legally) having your BAC measured. It can be measured through a Breathalyzer (which is the most common method) or through a blood draw. The Breathalyzer measures the level of alcohol that is the actual percentage of alcohol in your blood stream and is made at the time of your arrest. Any reading under 0.8% is technically legal.

While you shouldn’t need a NY criminal defense attorney to tell you it is a bad idea to get behind the wheel of a vehicle in New York State (or any state for that matter) after having consumed alcohol, we have provided our readers with a tool that can assist them in understanding how much alcohol one must consume before one is legally intoxicated. In New York, that legal level to sustain a conviction for Driving While Intoxicated (DWI /DUI) is .08. However, even if one’s BAC is not recorded, courts can still find one guilty under the “Common Law” DWI / DUI statute that is satisfied through observations of drunkenness on the part of a police officer.

Another consequence of a DWI conviction is the effect on your automobile insurance. Automobile insurance, as you probably know is required by law, but insurance companies are in business to make money, and the rate you pay for car insurance is based on risk, risk that you will be involved in accidents which cause property damage or personal injuries. A DWI conviction means that you will be considered a high risk and your insurance premiums will be higher as a result.

The tool linked on our DWI / DUI web page, should not be used as a means to guide you as you are drinking to ascertain whether you are “ok” to drive. There are too many factors that need to be taken into consideration and in no way will this calculator give you an exact determination of your BAC. Under no circumstance should it be relied on for that purpose. Instead, the calculator is a means to get a general understanding of the relationship between your weight, type of alcohol, amount of alcohol and time of consumption on your BAC.

After a person is convicted or pleads guilty to a DUI (or DWI) offense, the appropriate legal punishment is determined at the sentencing phase. A number of different kinds of penalties may be imposed on a person convicted of DUI, including:

• Incarceration in Jail (shorter-term) – First-time offenders in many states may get shorter stints in jail, but it should be noted that a number states punish first time offenders harshly and many of the other penalties listed here may still apply.
• Incarceration in Prison (longer-term) – Repeat DUI offenders, those convicted of aggravated DUI, and DUI offenders who have caused injury or death to another may be faced with much stiffer prison sentences.
• Suspension or revocation of driver’s license – Many states suspend a drunk driver’s license, even on their first DUI offense. The duration of a license suspension or revocation varies widely by jurisdiction, as well as by the nature of the offense.
• Use of vehicle ignition interlock devices (IIDs) – In many states, drunk driving laws permit or require the use of these devices (which lock a car’s ignition until a sober breath sample is provided) following a DUI offense.
• Vehicle Impoundment – Laws in some states allow or require the impoundment of vehicles in cases involving repeat DUI offenders.
• Drug/alcohol education and/or rehabilitation – Many states require, or allow for, the completion of drug and/or alcohol education programs or coursework before a DUI offender’s driving privileges can be restored.
• Community service – A sentencing judge may impose a wide range of community service on DUI offenders.
• Probation – An alternative to prison, this is a set period of time where the defendant has certain restrictions and requirements, such as community service and a restricted license.
• SCRAM Bracelets – Some jurisdictions allow for the use of these alcohol monitoring ankle bracelets as a penalty or as a condition of probation.
• Suspended sentences – These sentences take effect if conditions of probation are violated.

If you are facing DUI or DWI crimes, seek the legal opinion of a New York Order of Protection Attorney and New York DWI Attorney in order to know the possible remedies of your case. Call us at Stephen Bilkis and Associates.

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