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What is a DWAI in New York?


What is a DWAI in New York?

A DWAI in New York is what might be called a DUI in other states. You may be guilty of a DWAI any time you get behind the wheel “while ability impaired.”

DWAIs can cover a broad range of impairments. They can cover drug use, including the use of legal or prescription drugs. They can also cover times when your blood alcohol level is between 0.05% to 0.07%. Legally this is not a DWI offense but the argument is that the smaller amount of alcohol still “impaired your ability” to drive safely.

What are the consequences of a DWAI?

The consequences are severe. You can face up to 15 days of jail time, which is more than enough to disrupt most people’s lives. You can face a 90-day license suspension. You may also face a fine of $500 with a $260 surcharge.

These penalties are for first offenses while driving under the influence of 0.05% to 0.07%. If you are found guilty of driving while under the influence of drugs the DWAI-Drugs charge has even steeper penalties.

These penalties include jail time of up to one year, a license revocation of 6 months, a fine up to $1000 and a state surcharge of $400. 

A combination of drugs and alcohol can become an even more severe charge.

Possible Defenses to DWAI Charges

There are several defenses that we can use on your behalf. One way to defend against these charges is to pull your behavior on the road. If we can show that you were following traffic laws and that you were not driving dangerously then it’s less likely you were “impaired.”

In addition we can challenge the validity of breathalyzer tests, blood tests, and field sobriety tests. This is often effective when you have medical conditions which can throw those test results. This is also effective when you’re on certain diets, like the keto diet, which are known to throw DWI test results.

Finally we can sometimes challenge the validity of the traffic stop.

When those defenses are not available because the facts of the case preclude their use we may be able to talk these charges down to a less-severe charge by way of a plea bargain.

Accused of a DWAI in New York?

You need an experienced criminal and traffic lawyer on your side. Scott Russell has helped thousands of New York residents handle DWAI and DWI charges, and our firm can help you, too.

See also:

What You Need to Know About Marijuana Driving Laws in New York

Defending Against a DUI Breath Test Case

Can You Get a DUI While Parked in New York


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