More New York Drivers are Refusing the DWI Chemical Test
Yet another interesting trend that I have observed developing, which I view as being very dangerous, is the fact that an increasing number of people stopped for DWI are refusing to take the chemical breath test at the police station. Indeed, in the last month I have had four or five clients who did not consent to the test, and all of them are regretting their decision.
There used to be reasons why an attorney might say to a client, “It would behoove you to not take the breath test”—i.e., if the client was...
Increasing BAC Levels
A trend evident to both judges and lawyers is a shift toward much higher blood alcohol content (BAC) levels in DWI cases. During my initial training on prosecuting alcohol related offense at the New York State Police Academy, we were told that a BAC of over 2.0 was considered rare, and that if the BAC was 3.0 or higher the subject would likely be unconscious or close to it. However, over the last five years I have observed that the BAC levels in DWI cases are climbing ever higher.
Indeed, there was a time when two or more years would pass before I would see a DWI...
Over the course of the past two decades I have observed a major shift in how juries view drivers who are charged with alcohol-related offenses. From the late 1980s through the early 2000s, the prevailing view of a DWI jury—whether it was a misdemeanor or a felony DWI jury—seemed to be, “There but for the grace of God go I.” Indeed, as I often explain to clients, a DWI is the one serious offense that impacts people from all walks of life. My DWI clients have included lawyers, judges, police officers, architects, engineers, and doctors.
However, over the last eight...
A Felony DWI charge will be filed as either a class D or E depending on the circumstances. Repeat offenders and defendants with a child in the car are at risk. Learn more
Driving while intoxicated (DWI) can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony offense whereas as charge of driving while ability impaired (DWAI) is a violation and therefore non-criminal.
A conviction for the first DWAI, either after trial or as a result of plea bargain, is a non-criminal offense and the penalties are:
A fine between $300-$500 and up to 15 days in jail, or both a fine and jail.
A Court surcharge of $265.
A DMV Driver Responsibility fine of $250 each year for 3 years for a total of $750.
A Period of Probation, Conditional Discharge, or up to 15...