An arrest for driving while intoxicated (DWI) in New York can have serious consequences even if you have no prior arrests and even if no one was hurt as a result of your driving. If you are facing first-time DWI or driving while ability impaired (DWAI) charges in New York, don’t take your situation lightly. You can lose your right to drive, incur hefty fines, and even spend time behind bars, among other consequences.
Given the long list of potential consequences, you need an experienced New York drunk driving attorney, even if this is your first DWI arrest. At Epstein & Conroy, we understand how much is at stake when you are facing DWI charges. We know how to effectively challenge a DWI prosecution and we have the skill and experience to obtain the best possible outcome in a first-time DWI case.
In the state of New York, a person driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or higher is considered to be driving while intoxicated. However, this does not mean that your blood alcohol content must be over .08 in order for you to be charged with an offense. You can also be charged with DWAI if your BAC is between .05-.07%, and the allowable BAC levels are even lower for those under 21 and for drivers who hold a commercial drivers’ license.
First-time DWI Penalties
While a DWAI is a traffic offense it still comes with a long list of potential consequences. A first-time DWI is a misdemeanor criminal offense. A first-time DWI conviction can cost you fines between $500-$1,000, a license revocation for at least six months, as well as up to a year in jail. Under certain circumstances, you may be able to obtain a conditional license, but your right to drive will remain severely limited.
If your first drunk driving arrest is for aggravated DWI (BAC of .18% or more), a violation of “Leandra’s Law,” or if someone was injured or killed, the fines, potential jail time, and other consequences become much more severe.
Ignition Interlock Device (IID)
In recent years, states across the country have cracked down on first-time drunk drivers and New York is no exception. Specifically, New York law was changed to require that all individuals convicted of first-time DWI or aggravated DWI install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) in any vehicle that they own or use. All of the costs of purchasing, installing, and maintaining the IID, which can amount to thousands of dollars, are the responsibility of the driver
If you have been charged with a DWI for the first time in the State of New York, it is a serious offense with serious potential consequences. You need to treat your situation with thoughtfulness and urgency, and you shouldn’t face the process alone. You need an attorney who is experienced and knows how to challenge every aspect of a DWI arrest and prosecution, and who knows how to get you back on the road. Contact the attorneys at Epstein & Conroy by calling (718) 852-6763 for a free consultation to discuss your case and how we can help.