Tuesday, June 25, 2013

What is DWI?

This can be found on the NYS DMV website:

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What is DWI?

Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) is a crime. In NYS, the penalties include the loss of driving privileges, fines, and a possible jail term.
Your judgment, coordination and ability to drive a vehicle change when you consume any amount of alcohol. The level of impairment depends on five conditions:
  1. the amount of alcohol you drink,
  2. the amount of food you eat before or while you drink alcohol,
  3. the length of time you drink alcohol,
  4. your body weight, and
  5. your gender.
There is no quick method to become sober. The best method is to wait until your body absorbs the alcohol. The average rate that your body processes alcohol is approximately one drink per hour.

What are the alcohol and drug-related violations in New York State?

BAC = blood alcohol concentration
  • DWI:  Driving While Intoxicated; .08 BAC or higher or other evidence of intoxication. For drivers of commercial motor vehicles, .04 BAC or other evidence of intoxication.
  • Aggravated DWI: Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated: .18 BAC or higher.
  • DWAI/Alcohol:  Driving While Ability Impaired (by alcohol); more than .05 BAC to .07 BAC, or other evidence of impairment. For drivers of commercial motor vehicles who are under age 21, .02 BAC or other evidence of impairment.
  • DWAI/Drug:  Driving While Ability Impaired by a single Drug other than alcohol.
  • DWAI/Combination:  Driving While Ability Impaired by a Combined Influence of Drugs or Alcohol.
  • Chemical Test Refusal:  A driver who refuses to take a chemical test (normally a test of breath, blood or urine) can receive a driver license revocation of at least one year (18 months for a commercial driver) and must pay a $500 civil penalty ($550 for a driver of commercial vehicles) to apply for a new driver license. A driver who refuses a chemical test during the five years after a DWI-related charge or previous refusal will have their driver license revoked for at least 18 months (permanent for a commercial driver) and must pay a $750 civil penalty to apply for a new driver license. If the driver is under age 21, and refuses a chemical test during the five years after a DWI-related charge or previous refusal, they will have their driver license revoked for at least one year or until age 21, whichever is longer and must pay a $750 civil penalty to apply for a new driver license.
  • Zero Tolerance Law: A driver who is less than 21 years of age and who drives with a .02 BAC to .07 BAC violates the Zero Tolerance Law.

What are the penalties for Alcohol-related or Drug-related Violations?

Penalties for Alcohol-related and Drug-related Violations
Violation (1)Mandatory Fine (2)Maximum
Jail Term
Mandatory Driver License Action (3)
Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated (A-DWI)$1,000 - $2,5001 yearRevoked for at least one year
Second A-DWI in 10 years (E felony)(1)$1,000 - $5,0004 yearsRevoked for at least 18-months (5)
Third A-DWI in 10 years (D felony)(1)$2,000 - $10,0007 yearsRevoked for at least 18-months (4,5)
Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) or Driving While Impaired by a Drug (DWAI-Drug)$500 - $1,0001 yearDWI-Revoked for at least six months
DWAI-Drugs - Suspended for at least six months
Second DWI/DWAI-Drug violation in 10 years (E felony)(1)$1,000 - $5,0004 yearsRevoked for at least one year
Third DWI/DWAI-Drug violation in 10 years (D felony)(1)$2,000 - $10,0007 yearsRevoked for at least one year (4)
Driving While Ability Impaired by a Combination of Alcohol/Drugs (DWAI-Combination)$500 - $1,0001 yearRevoked for at least six months
Second DWAI/Combination in 10 years (E felony)(1)$1,000 - $5,0004 yearsRevoked for at least one year/18 months (5)
Third DWAI/Combination in 10 years (D felony)(1)$2,000 - $10,0007 yearsRevoked for at least one year/18 months (4,5)
Driving While Ability Impaired by Alcohol (DWAI)$300 - $50015 daysSuspended for 90 days
Second DWAI violation in 5 years$500 - $75030 daysRevoked for at least six months
Zero Tolerance Law$125 civil penalty and $100 fee to terminate suspensionNoneSuspended for six months
Second Zero Tolerance Law$125 civil penalty and $100 re-application feeNoneRevoked for one year or until age 21
Chemical Test Refusal$500 civil penalty ($550 for commercial drivers)NoneRevoked for at least one year, 18 months for commercial drivers.
Chemical Test Refusal within five years of a previous DWI-related charge/Chemical Test Refusal$750 civil penaltyNoneRevoked for at least 18 months, one-year or until age 21 for drivers under age 21, permanent CDL revocation for commercial drivers.
Chemical Test Refusal -
Zero Tolerance Law
$300 civil penalty and $50 re-application feeNoneRevoked for at least one year.
Chemical Test Refusal -
Second or subsequent Zero Tolerance Law
$750 civil penalty and $50 re-application feeNoneRevoked for at least one year.
Driving Under the Influence - (Out-of-State)N/AN/ARevoked for at least 90 days. If less than 21 years of age, revoked at least one year.
Driving Under the Influence - (Out-of State) with any previous alcohol-drug violationN/AN/ARevoked for at least 90 days (longer term with certain prior offenses). If less than 21 years of age, revoked at least one year or until age 21 (longest term).
  1. Greater penalties can also apply for multiple alcohol or drug violations within a 10-year period.
  2. Surcharges are added to misdemeanors ($160) and felonies ($270).
  3. The driver license penalties for drivers under the age of 21, and for drivers of commercial motor vehicles and other professional drivers, are different.
  4. Three or more alcohol or drug-related convictions or refusals within 10 years can result in permanent revocation, with a waiver request permitted after at least 5 years.
  5. A driver with an Aggravated DWI violation conviction within the prior 10 years will receive a minimum 18-month revocation if convicted of DWI, DWAI/Drugs or DWAI/Combination. Also a driver with a prior DWI, Aggravated DWI, DWAI/Drugs or DWAI/Combination with the prior 10 years will receive a minimum 18-month revocation.

Can I get a conditional license if I was convicted of DWI or DWAI?

If you receive your first conviction for DWI or DWAI and you participate in the Drinking Driver Program (DDP), you can receive a conditional license. The DMV determines if you are eligible for the DDP. A judge can stop your enrollment in the DDP. To get complete information read the DMV brochure, The Drinking Driver Program (PDF document).
The law mandates participation in the DDP, even if the driver is not eligible for a conditional license, for convictions of specific alcohol or drug-related violations, or in specific plea-bargaining situations.
See the DMV brochure, You and the Drinking Driving Laws, for more information about DWI (PDF document).
See a complete list of NYS approved DDP programs available in PDF format.

What is the Driver Responsibility Program? What is a driver responsibility assessment?

To get information about driver responsibility assessments and the Driver Responsibility Program, read the FAQs.

What is "Leandra's Law"?

Leandra's Law was signed into law on November 18, 2009 in honor of Leandra Rosado. Leandra was an 11-year old killed while she rode in a vehicle with the intoxicated mother of one of her friends. In response to this tragedy, the NYS Legislature made several changes to the Vehicle and Traffic Law (VTL). The law strengthened the penalties against motorists who drink and drive, and requires that:
  • A person sentenced for Driving While Intoxicated on or after August 15, 2010 have an ignition interlock device installed on any vehicle they own or operate, and
  • the driver have an "ignition interlock" restriction added to their driver license.
See additional information about Leandra's Law at the NYS Governor's Traffic Safety Committee Alcohol, Drugs and DWI page.

What are the different parts of Leandra's Law and what are the penalties for conviction?

Leandra's Law includes the following provisions:
"Aggravated DWI/Child in Vehicle."  The law establishes this new Class E Felony. The law states that no person shall operate a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs while a child who is 15 years of age or younger is a passenger in the vehicle.
Ignition Interlock Requirement.  A court must sentence a person convicted of either Aggravated DWI/Child in Vehicle or Aggravated DWI/Driving with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of .18 or More to a period of probation or to a conditional discharge. The court must require the installation and use of an ignition interlock device in any motor vehicle owned or operated by a person convicted under this law. The ignition interlock device must remain in the vehicle for at least six months.
Driving While Intoxicated.  A court that sentences a person for a Driving While Intoxicated conviction on or after August 15, 2010 must impose a conditional discharge or probation. A condition of the sentence must be the installation and use of an ignition interlock device in any motor vehicle the person owns or operates. The ignition interlock device must remain in the vehicle for at least six months.

What is an "Ignition Interlock Device"?

An ignition interlock device connects to a motor vehicle ignition system and measures the alcohol content in the breath of the operator. The device prevents the vehicle from being started until the motorist provides an acceptable breath sample.
If ignition interlock is ordered by a court, the system must be installed on each vehicle the motorist owns or operates. The device must remain installed for at least six months. The ignition interlock restriction will be added to the driver license record even if the license is revoked. The restriction will appear on the back of the driver license document as "interlock device".
Courts and probation departments will direct convicted motorists to vendors for ignition interlock installation. The Web site of the Office of Probation and Correctional Alternatives external link provides details on ignition interlock device vendors and information from the manufacturers of the device." www.dmv.org

For a free consultation with DWI attorney Anthony LoBiondo, call (845) 742-7133.  24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  www.LoBiondoLaw.com, 22 years experience.

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