New York DWI laws have changed drastically over the past 10 years. In fact, legislature has made it much more difficult for people charged with, and convicted of DWI-related offenses. There are increased penalties, including the mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device for DWI convictions.
To make matters more difficult, District Attorney’s offices are taking a more hard-lined approach with plea offers, often refusing to offer a reduction of a DWI to a Driving While Ability Impaired by Alcohol (DWAI) on first offenses. Instead, they are recommending a sentence of increased fines, probation and/or jail, and demanding forfeiture of the automobile being used at the time of the charged DWI offense – even for some misdemeanor DWI offenses.
Having an experienced DWI (Driving While Intoxicated), DWAI (Driving While Ability Impaired), or DUI (Driving Under the Influence) attorney on your side is critical to overcome these obstacles.
Our attorneys – many of whom are former assistant district attorneys – handle all types of drunk or impaired driving cases, including those where the allegedly intoxicated driver caused an accident that resulted in someone else’s injury or death.
We anticipate the prosecutors’ strategies, and have extensive experience in questioning police officers and critiquing their tactics and techniques, particularly as they relate to field sobriety tests and Breathalyzer or blood tests.
Field Sobriety Tests: nationally recognized tests that must be administered pursuant to explicitly detailed instructions by the police officer; test results are used against you during the prosecutor’s case
Nationally recognized field sobriety tests include:
- Horizontal Gaze Nystagmous (HGN)
- Walk and Turn Test
- One Leg Stand Test
Breathalyzer test or blood test: used to determine a driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC)
- 0.06 to 0.07 BAC is usually charged as a Driving While Ability Impaired by Alcohol (DWAI)
- 0.08 to 0.17 BAC – usually Driving While Intoxicated (DWI )
- 0.18 BAC or higher – usually Aggravated DWI (includes increased fines)
Breathalizer or blood testing must be administered pursuant to the explicit procedures. Our attorneys know exactly how to challenge the use of the any BAC reading, whether as a result of a Breathalyzer or a blood test.
An alternative during a traffic stop is to refuse the Breathalyzer or blood test. However, a refusal can result in the revocation of your driver’s license for one year following a DMV hearing, which is separate from any criminal proceeding. The refusal may be used against you in the prosecution’s criminal DWI case.
Driving While Ability Impaired by Drugs (DWAI Drugs): charged when a driver’s ability to operate the car is impaired by the use of the specifically identified drugs listed in the New York State Public Health Law
- Blood or Urine Test results
- Testimony of a Drug Recognition Expert
Contact the experienced attorneys at Blustein, Shapiro, Rich & Barone, LLP today so we can explain the involved penalties and defend you at all stages of the criminal justice process, including a jury trial, if that is the best option for you based on your circumstances.