d3-300x200No matter how you look at it, getting a DWI means trouble. You could lose your license, face fines and jail time, and your auto insurance could skyrocket. So what should you do if you find yourself facing such a charge? Here are a few points and tips that could help.

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How do you define a DWI and a DWAI?

In New York State, it is considered a DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) when your blood alcohol content (BAC) is at or above 0.08%. How much do you have to drink to reach 0.08% BAC? It varies from person to person of course, but generally one ounce of alcohol will raise your BAC by 0.02%, meaning about four regular drinks or beers would be enough for a person to be over the limit. If you have a lower BAC, between 0.05% and 0.07%, it’s considered a DWAI (Driving While Ability Impaired). While less serious, it can still carry severe penalties.

What are the penalties for a DWI and DWAI?

For the first offence, a DWI is an unclassified misdemeanor and carries a maximum sentence of up to one year in jail and three years probation or a $1000 fine. You could also be forced to install a Secured Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor (SCRAM) to your vehicle for a minimum of 90 days and completion of the DWI Victim Impact Panel. Repeat offenses or more severe intoxication means you could be charged with a felony, which holds much stiffer penalties.

A DWAI is a violation, not a crime like a DWI. Penalties include up to fifteen days in jail, a $250 fine and a Conditional Discharge for one year, which is like probation without having to report to a probation officer.

Can I refuse the breathalyzer test?

Yes, but it’s usually best to take the test. Refusing to do so in New York State means you will automatically have your license revoked by the Department of Motor Vehicles, regardless of intoxication level. So unless this is a repeat offense or you are HIGHLY intoxicated, take the test.

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Where do I go for help?

Plenty of normal people get DWI’s, not just criminals. But even if there was no accident or injury, a DWI is still considered a criminal case. This puts your liberty, reputation, finances and employment at risk. An experienced attorney can help you navigate the waters, minimize penalties and avoid jail time.

Do I really need a DWI attorney?

The reality is that DWI cases are complicated, involving intimate knowledge of criminal procedure, analysis of the stopping and arrest of the defendant, understanding of law enforcement’s use of technical devices and more. An attorney can examine your case and see if there is any realistic way to challenge it, and avoid unrealistic challenges that waste time and money. Your attorney can guide you through pre- trial hearing and trial, find weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case, and get the best possible outcome, even dismissal or acquittal.

How can I avoid a DWI?

Once you’ve been pulled over, you can’t really avoid being charged. It’s always a good idea to prepare before that happens by getting a designated driver and giving that person your keys. If that’s not possible, call a cab and return for your vehicle the next day. But if you do get stopped and arrested, be cooperative, provide your name and information, but say nothing else until you’ve had a chance to consult with your attorney. That’s the best way to get the best possible result from a difficult situation.

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DWI/DUI – Drunk and Driving

Our legal team at NYS Traffic Violations deal with all traffic tickets in Nassau County as well as all of the New York State area including speeding tickets, seat belt tickets, reckless driving, drunk driving, dui/dwi, careless driving, and all other NYS traffic violations.

We are dedicated to eliminating or reducing points in Nassau County by either having the charge dismissed or reduced. Our firm puts a great emphasis on traffic/criminal matters in Nassau County. The lawyer will appear for you at all traffic/municipal/criminal courts in Nassau County.

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