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NY Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1192.3: Driving While Intoxicated

New York Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1192.3 describes a driving while intoxicated offense that is distinguishable from New York's driving while intoxicated per se offense and from the aggravated driving while intoxicated per se offense. In order to be charged with DWI offense under New York Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1192.3, it is not necessary to prove through a chemical test that your blood alcohol level was at least .08 or at least .18. All that is necessary is for the arresting police officer to give his or her observations of your actions and demeanor that tend to show that you were under the influence of alcohol at the time you were pulled over.

In addition, you are likely to be charged with DWI under the New York Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1192.3 if you are suspected of being intoxicated but you refuse to submit to a chemical test to establish your blood alcohol level.


A police officer notices that a woman is driving her car erratically, swerving from lane to lane. He suspects that she might be intoxicated, so he directs her to pull over. After smelling alcohol on her breadth, he asks her take a field sobriety test. She performed poorly. The officer arrests her. At the precinct the woman refuses to take a chemical test. She is charged with DWI under § 1192.3 based on the police officer's observations that she was driving erratically, that she smelled of alcohol, that she was unsteady on her feet, and that she had blood shot eyes.

Related Offenses
  1. Driving while ability impaired: New York Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1192.1
  2. Driving while intoxicated; per se: New York Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1192.2
  3. Aggravated driving while intoxicated; per se: New York Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1192.2(2-a)
  4. Aggravated driving while intoxicated with a child: New York Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1192.2-a(b)
  5. Driving while ability impaired by drugs: New York Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1192.4

One way to challenge a § 1192.3 DWI charge is to question the reason for the police stop. If the police officer did not have probable cause to stop you, then there is a good chance that your case will be dismissed. However, if the police observed you driving erratically, then they likely had probable cause to stop you. Because there is no chemical test to back up the observations of the police officers, the recollections and observations of the police officer will be critical. Any inconsistencies in the officer's observations may be grounds to challenge the officer's conclusion that you were driving while intoxicated.


If you are convicted of DWI under New York Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1192.3 your punishment may include:

  • Up to 1 year in jail
  • A fine of between $500-$1000
  • License revocation
  • Ignition interlock device
New York Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1192.3: Driving while intoxicated

No person shall operate a motor vehicle while in an intoxicated condition.

The Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates can help

If you are charged with DWI it is important that you are represented by someone with experience handling DWI cases. A conviction could result in possible imprisonment, a steep fine, and suspension of your driving privileges. The staff at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates has years of experience successfully defending clients in New York criminal courts who have been charged with reckless driving, DUI, vehicular homicide, and other serious crimes. Contact us at 800.696.9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We serve those accused of larceny in the following locations: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County and Westchester County.

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