Charged with Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI)?

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When it comes to defending a Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI) charge – don’t risk your family, your license, your job, or your financial future. Our Attorneys have the experience to defend you and fight your DWAI charge. Our relationships and understanding of local courts, judges and prosecutors are key to helping our clients get the best possible legal outcomes.

Defending Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI) Charges in New York State: Strategies and Considerations

Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI) is a traffic infraction in New York State. It is a lesser offense than Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) but still carries significant penalties, including fines, jail time, and license suspension.

In New York State, a driver can be charged with DWAI if their blood alcohol content (BAC) is between 0.05% and 0.07%. The BAC limit for commercial drivers is 0.04%.

A driver can also be charged with DWAI if they are impaired by drugs or a combination of drugs and alcohol. Impairment can be shown by a variety of factors, including:

  • Slurred speech
  • Poor coordination
  • Slowed reaction time
  • Redness of the eyes
  • Lack of attention
  • Poor judgment

A driver can be charged with DWAI even if they are not actually driving. For example, a driver can be charged with DWAI if they are sitting in the driver’s seat with the keys in the ignition, even if the engine is off.

A driver can be charged with DWAI even if they have a BAC below the legal limit. This is because the DWAI statute does not focus on a specific BAC level. Instead, it focuses on whether the driver is impaired by alcohol or drugs.

The penalties for DWAI can be increased if the driver has any aggravating factors, such as a prior DWI or DUI conviction, or if they were driving with a child under the age of 16 in the car.

Penalties for DWAI Charge in New York State

The penalties for a DWAI (Driving While Ability Impaired) charge in New York State (NYS) can vary depending on the circumstances. Here are the general penalties for a first-time offense:

  • Fine of up to $500
  • Jail sentence of up to 15 days
  • License suspension of up to 90 days
  • Mandatory alcohol education program
  • Possible ignition interlock device (IID) installation

The penalties will be more severe if you have any prior DWI or DWAI convictions within the past 10 years. For example, a second offense within 10 years is a felony and can result in a fine of up to $5,000, a jail sentence of up to 4 years, and a license revocation of at least 18 months.

It is important to note that these are just the general penalties. The specific penalties you face will depend on the specific circumstances of your case. For example, if you were involved in an accident or had a high blood alcohol content (BAC), you could face more severe penalties.

Here are some additional things to keep in mind about DWAI penalties in NYS:

  • The penalties for a DWAI conviction can also include surcharges, which are additional fees that are added to your fine. The amount of the surcharges will depend on the severity of your offense.
  • If you are convicted of a DWAI, your insurance rates will likely go up. The increase in your rates will depend on your insurance company and the severity of your offense.
  • A DWAI conviction can also have a negative impact on your employment and your ability to obtain a professional license.

If you have been charged with a DWAI in NYS, it is important to take the charges seriously and to seek legal representation as soon as possible. An attorney can help you understand your rights and options and can fight to protect your interests.

Building a Robust Defense Strategy

Evaluating the Traffic Stop: The foundation of any DWAI defense begins with a thorough examination of the traffic stop. Was there probable cause to initiate the stop? Were the proper procedures followed by law enforcement? Any violations of the defendant’s Fourth Amendment rights can significantly impact the case’s validity.

Challenging Sobriety Tests: DWAI cases often involve field sobriety tests, which can be subjective and prone to human error. Our experienced attorneys meticulously scrutinize the administration of these tests to identify any inconsistencies or improper procedures that could undermine their reliability.

Questioning Chemical Tests: Chemical tests, such as breathalyzers, urine or blood tests, are crucial pieces of evidence in DWAI cases. However, these tests are not infallible. Our legal team will investigate whether the testing equipment was properly calibrated, maintained, and operated by certified personnel. If there are discrepancies, the validity of the test results can be called into question.

Medical Conditions and Prescription Medications: Some medical conditions and prescription medications can lead to impaired driving without the presence of alcohol or illegal drugs. Our defense strategy explores the possibility of a medical condition or medication affecting the defendant’s ability to operate a vehicle safely.

Constructing Alternative Explanations: We work closely with our clients to gather detailed accounts of the events leading up to their DWAI charge. By understanding the context and circumstances, we can build alternative explanations for their behavior that may not necessarily point to impairment.

Navigating Legal Options

Our legal team is well-versed in the nuanced laws of New York State, including its DWAI statutes and sentencing guidelines. Depending on the specifics of the case, we can pursue various legal avenues:

Negotiating Reductions: Through skillful negotiation, we aim to secure reductions in charges or penalties, such as obtaining a plea deal to a lesser offense or pursuing enrollment in a substance abuse education program.

Challenging Evidence in Court: If necessary, we are prepared to take the case to trial. Our experienced litigators will present a strong defense, cross-examine witnesses, and challenge evidence in court to achieve the best possible outcome.

Protecting Driving Privileges: DWAI convictions can result in the suspension or revocation of driving privileges. We will advocate for our clients to retain their driving rights whenever possible.

Conclusion

Facing a DWAI charge in New York State can be a daunting experience, but the DWI Team is dedicated to providing unwavering support and exceptional legal representation. Our extensive knowledge of the legal landscape, combined with our commitment to protecting clients’ rights, empowers us to construct robust defense strategies tailored to each unique case. From dissecting the traffic stop to challenging sobriety tests and negotiating favorable outcomes, we stand as the shield against DWAI charges, advocating for the best interests of our clients at every turn.

Frequently Asked Questions
DWI stands for Driving While Intoxicated. It is a crime in New York State to drive with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or higher.
DWAI stands for Driving While Ability Impaired. It is a crime in New York State to drive with a BAC of 0.05% but less than 0.08%, or if you are impaired by alcohol or drugs to the slightest degree.

The penalties for DWI and DWAI vary depending on the circumstances of the offense. However, the penalties can include:

  • Loss of driving privileges for up to 1 year
  • Fines of up to $1,000
  • Jail time of up to 1 year
Yes, you can be convicted of DWI or DWAI even if you refuse to take a breathalyzer test. The refusal to take a breathalyzer test is considered an admission of guilt and can result in the same penalties as a conviction for DWI or DWAI.

There are a number of defenses to DWI and DWAI charges in New York State. Some common defenses include:

  • The breathalyzer test was not properly administered
  • You were not driving the vehicle
  • You were not impaired by alcohol or drugs

Leandra’s Law is a New York State law that makes it a felony to drive drunk with a child under the age of 16 in the car. The penalties for violating Leandra’s Law include:

  • Up to 7 years in prison
  • A fine of up to $15,000
  • A mandatory minimum of 1 year in jail

The Zero Tolerance Law is a New York State law that prohibits drivers under the age of 21 from driving with a BAC of 0.02% or higher. The penalties for violating the Zero Tolerance Law include:

  • A fine of up to $1,000
  • The suspension of your driver’s license for 6 months to 1 year
Offenders convicted of DWI or DWAI in New York State may be required to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicle. An ignition interlock device is a breathalyzer that must be used to start the vehicle. The device will not allow the vehicle to start if the driver’s BAC is above a certain level.
If you have been charged with DWI or DWAI in New York State, you should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney and focus on DWI defense.

There are a number of resources available to help people who have been convicted of DWI or DWAI in New York State. These resources can help you with:

  • Getting your driver’s license back
  • Dealing with the financial consequences of a conviction
  • Getting treatment for alcohol or drug addiction

If you have any other questions, please contact us at info@dwiteam.com

Please note that laws and regulations can change over time, so it’s important to consult with a legal professional or refer to official sources for the most up-to-date information regarding DWAI in New York State.

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We promise to be there when you need us most.to do everything in our power to protect your future.to give you the best value.

Proven team that provides results through advocacy.

It is not so easy to find a DWI attorney. People sometimes treat, and attorneys represent DWI charges as if they were simple traffic tickets. As a result, it can dramatically affect someone’s job, finances, freedom, and their ability to be valued members of our society.

With the government having access to an unlimited amount of resources to convict people, many times, people are forced to plead guilty to something that they either were not guilty of or something that would affect the rest of their life.

That’s why if you are facing a DWI charge, you need a competent, experienced, and respected attorney to defend you. The DWI TEAM is comprised of some of the most accomplished DWI professionals in New York state. Nave Law Firm has brought together these exceptional professionals as The DWI TEAM to offer DWI defense services of the highest order. With Nave Law Firm’s leadership, The DWI TEAM provides our clients with seamless service using the most cutting edge defense strategies in seeking the best outcome possible in their case.

It is not so easy to find a DWI attorney. People sometimes treat, and attorneys represent DWI charges as if they were simple traffic tickets. As a result, it can dramatically affect someone’s job, finances, freedom, and their ability to be valued members of our society.

With the government having access to an unlimited amount of resources to convict people, many times, people are forced to plead guilty to something that they either were not guilty of or something that would affect the rest of their life.

That’s why if you are facing a DWI charge, you need a competent, experienced, and respected attorney to defend you. The DWI TEAM is comprised of some of the most accomplished DWI professionals in New York state. Nave Law Firm has brought together these exceptional professionals as The DWI TEAM to offer DWI defense services of the highest order. With Nave Law Firm’s leadership, The DWI TEAM provides our clients with seamless service using the most cutting edge defense strategies in seeking the best outcome possible in their case.

Why work with the DWI TEAM?

DWI laws apply universally to all courthouses in New York. However, every courthouse has its own culture and expectations about how a DWI case should be prosecuted and punished. The local attorneys for the DWI TEAM have worked in courts throughout the counties in New York and have intricate knowledge of the culture, rules, and procedures prevalent in each courthouse. They know how to pitch their case and tailor a defense accordingly. The attorneys that represent the DWI TEAM have also fostered and developed a professional relationship with the judges, court staff, and prosecutors of each courthouse.

With a FREE consultation and our Best Price Promise – we are your unbeatable choice. We offer payment plans as low as $500 down and work closely with our clients to ensure you can afford quality representation. If we don’t believe we can help, we won’t take any money.

The attorneys with the DWI TEAM understand the stress involved in facing criminal charges. They particularly understand the complexities and complications of fighting a DWI case. For that reason, our attorneys are accessible to clients, answering their calls directly and promptly. Our staff provides moral and emotional support to clients at every stage of a DWI proceeding – from the inception of the case to post-conviction progress reports.

If you or a loved one has been charged with a DWI or any other driving offense, contact the DWI TEAM. We will carefully examine the specifics of your case, and if we do not feel we can help you, we will not take any money.

Contact us anytime 24/7/365 by calling (800) 570-1810 >

We are dedicated to reducing or dismissing your charges. Contact us today for a FREE case analysis.

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Our results speak for themselves.
Our client is an air traffic controller for the Army and holds a security clearance. He was snowmobiling the night of his arrest and was stopped on his way home for operating a snowmobile after midnight. He was arrested and taken to the station where he blew a .23. Our attorneys explained that our client would lose his job/career with a misdemeanor conviction. By presenting legal proof regarding the BAC and equities tied to his career, we were able to obtain an SWAI (no criminal) result, protect our client’s job, and have the record of his conviction sealed.
Our client was arrested for DWI, Leaving the Scene of a Personal Injury Accident, and Failed to Keep Right. It was unclear if our client or his friend was driving. Our client was very concerned as he is in the process of becoming a Corrections Officer and a DWI conviction would make that difficult, if not impossible. Our attorneys discovered our client was in possession of valuable information that could assist the DA’s Office in felony prosecutions. In exchange for our client’s cooperation with all testimony at Grand Jury the DA’s Office dismissed the case in the interests of justice. Our client was left with no criminal record and his career plan of becoming a Corrections Officer intact.
Our client was involved in a head-on collision and charged with DWI. In light of her prior DWAI conviction, she faced possible jail time and revocation of her driver license. Our efforts on her behalf yielded a result that pleased the client and her husband. She pleaded guilty to the reduced count of DWAI and a traffic violation, and she avoided the more serious penalties allowed by law.
Law enforcement said our client had a BAC of 0.21 and had caused an accident in which he rolled his vehicle. During extensive negotiations with the prosecution, we were able to demonstrate that the accident was caused by inclement weather and our client had extensive equities from prior military combat experience. The result was an offer to a DWAI which is a non-criminal traffic infraction that – due to the accident and high BAC – was significantly outside of the District Attorney’s reduction policy.
Our client’s initial offer was to plead guilty to a DWI, with a BAC of .27. This would leave our client with a criminal record for the rest of his life. We believed there was an issue with the stop, so we pushed forward. At hearings the officer said he stopped the vehicle because of a welfare check. He admitted there were no traffic infractions and that the stop was based solely on the concern for the wife. After the hearings, we submitted a memo of law outlining our issues. In the end, the Judge ruled that this was in fact, a bad stop and suppressed all the evidence and as a result, the case was dismissed.
Clients speak for our work.
Clients speak for our work.
This team responded right away, came up with a plan and acted on it right away. Very reasonable and flexible with payment plans and very understanding with my situation if I was in a bind with finances. You can tell they actually want to help you. Highly recommend!
They are amazing people will answer all your questions and make you feel very comfortable about your situation. Andrew and his team was the best thing i could have asked for, and they are very nice and fast with communication. Overall great people!
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