In Arthur L. Pressman Law Blog, DWI

A DWI can be traumatic, embarrassing and result in serious consequences. In New York, driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a criminal offense and, if you are convicted, can result in a criminal record, suspension of your license, fines and often jail time or probation.

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If you are charged with a DWI, you are probably wondering:

  • “What are my rights?”
  • “Will I lose my license?”
  • “Do I need to hire a DWI attorney?”

1. Impairment

ImpairmentIf the police in New York state believe that your driving ability is impaired, and you are found to be under the influence of prescription or illegal drugs or alcohol, you may be charged with driving while impaired by drugs. It is imperative to have a dedicated DWI Attorney in your corner.  These are serious charges that carry serious DWI penalties, In the state of New York, the following blood alcohol contents (BACs) result in a DWI:

  • 0.02% for ages under 21
  • 0.08% for ages 21 and older
  • 0.04% for commercial drivers

Challenging a DWI in New York can be difficult and requires an experienced Buffalo DWI Attorney to prove that an error occurred during your arrest or alcohol testing. Your DWI case is thoroughly examined to ensure that your constitutional rights have not been violated.

Possible types of challenges include the following:

  • The validity of the stop: A possible error that can be made is when the police officer is lacking probable cause for making the stop.
  • The qualifications of the person conducting the test: The person conducting the test or operating the machine must be certified or qualified in accordance with the law of the state. The testing can be ruled invalid if any discrepancy is discovered.
  • The accuracy of the evidence presented: Conducting a thorough investigation of the arrest report and data gathered, including breath tests and blood work. It is easy for labs to make errors that affect data.


  • BAC over 0.02% in minors, 0.04% in commercial drivers and 0.08% in all other drivers carry serious penalties.
  • Only an experienced DWI attorney will be able to help you at this stage.

2. Understanding DWI Penalties

Understanding DWI PenaltiesA DWI conviction can result in immediate and serious consequences. Drunk driving penalties in New York are severe and can have a cascading effect on your driving privileges, employment, and assets.

Knowing the situations in which you can be charged with a DWI/DUI is important. New York prosecutes those who commit the following crimes:

  • Driving while intoxicated: You may be convicted of a DWI if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.08% or higher, and you demonstrate other evidence of intoxication.
  • Driving while ability impaired by alcohol (DWAI-Alcohol): In New York, you may be convicted of a DWAI-Alcohol if you have a BAC of between 0.05% and 0.07% or if you show other evidence that you are impaired.
  • Driving while ability impaired by a drug other than alcohol (DWAI-Drug): This charge can result if you are found to be impaired by chemical substances other than alcohol.
  • Refusal to take a chemical test: When you refuse to take alcohol testing by blood or urine, or by a host of other means, at the very least, your license may be revoked and you’ll have to pay a $500 civil penalty.
  • Zero tolerance law: If you are a New York driver under the age of 21, you are charged with a DWI if you are found to have any traces of alcohol in your system while driving.
  • Multiple DWI convictions: Prior DWIs can lead to harsher penalties if you are convicted. Even a single prior offense can quadruple jail time and double fines.


  • DWI, DWAI (alcohol), DWAI (drugs), multiple DWIs, aggravated DWI, underage DWI and refusal to take a chemical test are all associated charges.
  • These charges can have a cascading effect in your driving privileges, assets and employment.

3. Consequences of a DWI Charge

Consequences of a DWI ChargeIf you are convicted in the state of New York for a DWI, DUI or DWAI, or for refusing to submit to testing, you may be subject to the following penalties:

  • Suspension or revocation of your driving privileges
  • Revocation of your driver’s license (minimum one year) for refusal to take a chemical BAC test
  • Fines of up to $2,500 for a first offense
  • Fees and surcharges for a conditional license or new license application
  • Fees for any treatment/educational classes

Denying yourself the proper representation may have devastating consequences for your future, especially for multiple violations. Having a tenacious DWI Lawyer on your side can make all the difference.

It is important to remember that New York state has a zero-tolerance law for motorists under the age of 21 who drink and drive. While the threshold for blood alcohol content in a standard DWI is 0.08 percent, a driver under the age of 21 can be cited for as little as 0.02 percent BAC. That means that young drivers who might not even be impaired can face criminal charges and administrative penalties.


  • Consequences of a DWI range from steep fines, permanent revocation of a driver’s license, issues with employment to jail-time.
  • In light of New York’s zero-tolerance law, if a minor blows as little as 0.02% without any signs of impairment, they will still be charged.

 If you or a loved one is facing DWI or DWAI charges, please remember that time is of the essence. Contact dedicated DWI attorney Arthur Pressman so he can get to work securing your driving privileges.

Download Our Free DWI Guide

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