New York DWAI

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Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI)

Driving Under the Influence (DUI) and Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI) and are terms used to describe driving under the influence of prescription medications (pain killers) or illicit drugs (marijuana, cocaine). In New York, DWAI cases focus on the level of impairment of the driver. A driver who has a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of .04 to .07 or shows evidence of physical or mental impairment can be charged with a DWAI.

In New York State, a DWAI is a violation of criminal law. If you have been charged with a Driving While Ability Impaired offense, you will need New York DWAI lawyer. First time DWAI offenders can face fines of $500 to $1,000 with the possibility of up to a year in jail and a loss of driving license for six months. A second offense within a period of 10 years will increase the mandatory fine to $1,000 to $5,000 and the jail term can be as high as four years. A third offense can result in fines of $10,000, a jail term of seven years and permanent license revocation. If convicted of more than one DUI in the last 10 years, you may be charged and convicted of a felony DUI, resulting in additional fines.

There are three different kinds of sobriety tests an arresting officer can perform on a person suspected of a DWI or DWAI; a field sobriety test, a screening test and a chemical test. Common field sobriety tests include the finger-to-nose touch, the one-leg stand, walk and turns and reverse alphabet recital. These tests are commonly used to detect DWAI and DWI and are administered to check on the physical coordination and mental capacity of the person operating the vehicle. Screening tests are portable breath tests used to detect the presence of alcohol in the drivers system. Chemical tests detect the percentage of alcohol in a person's blood and must be administered within two hours of the time of the arrest.

Various types of breath testing machines (breathalyzers and intoxilyzers) are also used to measure a person's blood alcohol content (BAC). These tests are one of the most common techniques used by arresting officers to measure BAC. However, false readings can, and do, occur. Mouth washes, breath sprays and even cough syrup have been known to produce false readings. Varying body temperature has also been known to affect readings. In New York State, courts occasionally throw out breath test results due to their unreliability. A knowledgeable DWI lawyer from Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC can help you avoid maximum penalties by analyzing your situation, asking the right questions and making sure that breath test rules were followed.

In most cases, your employer will need to be informed that you have been charged with a DWI, leading to additional consequences that can have a tremendous impact on your professional career, if not cost you your job altogether. With the help of an attorney, you may be able to avoid dismissal from your job and/or license suspension. At the very least, you may be granted the ability to drive to and from work during your suspension time. With the help of an experienced lawyer, you may be able to avoid conviction of a DUI.

Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC are highly experienced DUI Lawyers. If you have been charged with a DWI or a DWAI in New York and need of an attorney, call us immediately at 1.800.NY.NY.LAW. We offer free consultations for drivers charged with a DWI and DWAI.

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New York Criminal Lawyer Blog - New York DWI / DUI
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