Impaired Driving Consequences
Are you wondering about the impaired driving consequences? Perhaps you are scared that this is going to ruin your life. Here is what you need to know about impaired driving consequences in New York City.
What is Impaired Driving?
- Having a Blood Alcohol level of more than .05 BAC and up to .07 BAC, or other evidence of impairment.
- For drivers of commercial motor vehicles who are under age 21, .02 BAC or other evidence of impairment.
In New York, one is ordinarily charged with both a DWI/DUI (driving while intoxicated) and a DWAI (driving while ability impaired). The reason that prosecutors do this is because a DWAI is what we call a lesser included offense. However, a DWAI is not a crime. It is a traffic infraction. The consequences of driving while ability impaired are not as severe as driving while intoxicated.
A DWAI conviction does not count as a prior DWI because a conviction for a DWAI is a traffic infraction. Technically speaking, a blood alcohol content level around a 0.06% and 0.07% is considered a DWAI. Thus, for a person with a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or more, a DWAI may be a viable plea bargain option. Going from a case where you are charged with a DWI where your blood alcohol content might be 0.10%, which is a crime, may be resolved in a plea bargain for DWAI.
Impaired Driving Consequences | Court Proceedings
If you’re charged in the State of New York with driving while impaired, it’s a traffic infraction and not a crime. As such, you will not be entitled to a jury trial but a trial in front of a judge. That’s not necessarily a disadvantage, but you’re not entitled to a jury trial. A trial in front of a judge is usually a little quicker and a little bit less expensive, quite frankly. It’s important to know what your rights are when charged with a driving while impaired.
Impaired Driving | Penalties
In New York, if you wind up with a plea bargain of driving while ability impaired, the first thing to remember is that it’s not a crime, it’s a traffic infraction. The penalties are a minimum of $300 fine and a maximum of a $500 fine and there’s also a surcharged owed to the court of $250. The Department of Motor Vehicles will send you a very unhappy letter, which will charge you an additional $750; $250 a year for three years. Other penalties are that you may be required to do the drunk driving program, which is a seven class program, approximately two hours each night for the drunk driving program. On certain occasions, driving while impaired may also require you to do one class called the Victim Impact Panel, which is one class for two and a half hours.
If you are worried about the impaired driving consequences, please call our experienced DWI lawyer Carl Spector today for a free consultation!