The State of New York has a zero tolerance for those who drive while affected by alcohol, illegal drugs, marijuana, or prescription medicine. Drunk driving charges should be taken seriously. In Saratoga, drunk driving is often an extensive process with very weighty long-term impacts.
There are two charges for drunk driving in New York. The term ‘DWAI’ refers to a person whose ability to drive is impaired and whose blood alcohol content (BAC) is under 0.08 percent. Those who’s BAC is over 0.08 percent are charged with a ‘DWI’- “driving while intoxicated”. You can also be charged with a DWI if you have a BAC of 0.04 percent while driving a commercial motor vehicle, or if you are younger than 21 and have a BAC of 0.02 percent.
A DWAI is generally the less severe of the two charges. First-time offenders charged with a DWAI in New York typically incur a sizeable fine up to $1,000, probation, and up to a one year jail sentence. First offenders must fight to prevent the state from immediately revoking their driver’s license. DWI offenders face fines, probation, jail, and license penalties akin to a DWAI in addition to a mandatory interlock mechanism for one year. Drivers must breathe into the device, which is essentially a Breathalyzer, to start the engine of their vehicle. Be warned though: each subsequent violation of a DWAI or DWI drastically increases the penalties for each charge. Recurring misdemeanor DWAI charges can result in a felony DWAI charge. Consecutive DWIs might lead to additional felony charges.
The force of a DWAI or DUI charge can spread to other aspects of your life, with potentially humiliating consequences. Drunk driving charges will appear on background checks. Besides court fees and licensing fines, you might be ordered by the court to attend alcohol classes. Current employers might terminate you due to the serious nature of the charges; drunk driving is a serious red flag for future employers. Other possible negative effects include: loss of voting privileges, your credit rating, increased insurance rates, etc.
Time is of the essence for those charged with drunk driving charges in New York. The best action you can take for yourself after being charged with a drunk driving violation is to hire a criminal defense lawyer. Take charge of your situation before it overwhelms you. Contact Christopher N Luhn PC today! We are experts in the Saratoga County court system and available for a legal consultation in Saratoga County.