NYC DWAI Lawyers
Driving While Ability Impaired and Driving Under the Influence are both terms which describe the operation of a vehicle while influenced by illicit drugs or prescription medications. The state of New York has DWAI cases which are defined by the driver’s level of impairment. A driver whose BAC is between .04 and .07, or who shows ample evidence of mental or physical impairment, might be charged with a DWAI.
A DWAI is considered a violation of law under the state penal code. If you’ve been charged with this offense, you need to contact a skilled New York lawyer as soon as possible. Spodek Law Group has been representing clients in criminal cases since 1976.
The first DWAI offense carries potential penalties of fines ranging from $500 to $1000, up to one year in jail, and a six month loss of license. The second offense within a decade increases the fine from $1,000 to $5,000. The jail term might also lengthen up to four years. A third offense might result in a $10,000 fine, a seven year prison sentence, and permanent revocation of your license. When you’ve been convicted of a previous DUI within the last decade, you might face a felony DUI charge, which has additional penalties and fines.
Three types of sobriety test can be performed on a person who is suspected of a DWAI: a chemical test, a screening test, and a field sobriety test. Field sobriety tests tend to include reverse alphabet recital, walk and turns, one-leg stand, and the finger-to-nose touch. These tests are a way of ascertaining the mental capacity and physical coordination of the individual who is operating the vehicle. Meanwhile, screening tests are breath tests which are portable and used to check whether a driver has alcohol in their system or not. Chemical tests determine a person’s blood alcohol percentage and require administration within the two hour period following the arrest.
Breath testing machines such as intoxilyzers and breathalyzers can measure the blood alcohol content of a person. Officers commonly use these as testing methods rather than administering a blood test. With that said, it’s possible for a false reading to occur. Cough syrup, breath sprays, and mouth washes might produce a false reading. A varying body temperature is also liable to affect the reading. Because breath tests have a certain level of unreliability, the state of New York will occasionally throw out a breath testing result.
Most cases involve your employer being informed about your DWAI charge, which can impact your professional career tremendously or cause you to lose your job entirely. A lawyer might be able to help you avoid termination in the workplace or suspension of your license. You may be eligible for a provisional license, which allows you to drive to and from work while the suspension is active. A lawyer might also be able to help you avoid conviction even if you have been charged with a DWAI.
Criminal charges for DWAI are variable, and it’s important that you contact an attorney who can make sure that all the proper procedures were followed by law enforcement.