No one who is going out for a night out on the town expects to end up arrested and in the back of a police car. Unfortunately, that can happen when poor choices are made in regard to drinking and driving. Do you know what to expect with a DUI arrest? Here are five things you need to know about a DUI in New York City.
Impaired to “Any Extent”
The difference between DWI and DWAI can literally just be .01 percent. According to FindLaw, driving while intoxicated (DWI) is defined as having a blood alcohol content at .08 percent or higher. Driving while ability impaired (DWAI) could be assigned if the blood alcohol content is between .05 percent and .07 percent. Even though a DWAI is considered a lesser offense, it can still result in a jail sentence of up to 15 days and as much as $500 in fines. With a DWI conviction, the fines are higher, the jail time can be longer, and there is always a risk of having your license suspended. Both of these charges are considered being impaired to “any extent.”
Not Just Alcohol
It is not just alcohol that can cause impairment on the road. The Recovery Village points out that opioids like oxycodone and fentanyl are more common every year, and they can certainly impair your ability to drive. Taking those medications as part of a doctor’s prescription won’t be an excuse as far as the police are concerned. Medical marijuana is allowed in New York, but, like prescribed opioids, that doesn’t give drivers permission to operate their vehicles while impaired. Finding amounts of any of those substances in the blood content of a driver can still be considered guilty of a DWI.
When you accept your driver’s license, you are also accepting the concept of implied consent. This means that if you are stopped by a police officer and are asked to submit to any kind of chemical test to determine the level of alcohol or drugs in your system, then you have to take the test. If you’re arrested and refuse the test, then mandatory fines and a license suspension will be issued. There isn’t a lot of leniency with implied consent.
An ignition interlock device could be ordered by the court with a conviction of a DWI. Once installed, you’ll need to submit a breath sample into the device to determine a BAC. Syracuse explains that if the sample registers as 0.025 percent or higher, then the car won’t start. You are responsible for buying and having the device installed. The ignition interlock could be ordered to remain on your car for up to 12 months. This can be a preferred option that will allow you to operate your vehicle while under probation.
If Accused of a DUI, You Need a Good Defense Attorney
There are many mitigating factors that will determine the penalties for a DUI conviction in New York. Consider the following for drivers 21 years or older:
- 1st offense: 90-day license suspension, $500 fine, 15 days in jail maximum, possible enrollment in driver program
- 2nd offense: 6-month license suspension, $750 fine, 30 days in jail, possible enrollment in driver program
In short, the penalties will be a major disruption in your life. This is why it is vital to secure the services of an experienced DUI attorney. Your attorney should be someone who understands the laws and the court system.
A DUI arrest is a big mistake, but it is one that can be resolved quickly and put behind you. Knowing the New York City laws and getting help from a good defense attorney are the first steps.