New York State is very serious about drinking and driving, and you should be too! A DWI (drinking while intoxicated) or DUI (driving under the influence) charge can bring harsh consequences. If you are stopped for suspicion of a DWI or DUI, the police officer will probably ask you to take a breathalyzer test, which involves breathing into a machine that will check your blood alcohol content (BAC). You can’t refuse the test, and if it registers .08 percent or higher, you are in very big trouble. A first DUI charge is a misdemeanor that can include a fine, a revoked driver’s license, and time in jail. However, if your BAC level registers .18% or higher, you may be charged with “Aggravated DUI.” That may mean a fine of $1,000 or higher, a suspended license for a year, and one year in jail.
The penalties get stiffer. Get a second DUI within 10 years of the first one and you have now committed a felony. Your fine may be up to $5,000 and you could spend four years in jail. A third conviction could mean a fine up to $10,000, a license suspension for 18 months, and/or up to seven years behind bars. You may also be required, at your own expense, to have an ignition interlock device installed in your car. Before being able to start your car, you must breathe into the device. At various times when driving, you must also breathe into the device. If you don’t or if your alcohol level is high, the lights on your car will flash and the horn will sound.
As severe as these penalties are, a DUI conviction can bring other long-term consequences. Your DUI conviction – misdemeanor or felony – will stay on your record permanently. Since anyone can view your record, that may mean loss of employment, housing, and various types of programs. It may also mean a substantial increase in your insurance rate.
The best advice to anyone who operates a car in New York is “don’t drink and drive.” However, if you are charged with drunk driving in the state, the next best advice is to hire a New York criminal lawyer. Do not try to fight these charges alone. An experienced New York criminal lawyer is familiar with the drunk driving laws in the state and can building a solid defense against the charges.
No one wants a drunk driver on the road, but there may be circumstances that can alter the charges in your favor. Your lawyer may be able to fight the breathalyzer result or have your license reinstated. The accusations against you may be faulty or incorrectly charged. A DUI is a serious offense that requires a serious defense. Contact us at whiteplainscriminal lawyers. We have the experience and dedication to defend your rights, try to clear your record, and make certain you are treated fairly in any of the charges. Get your life back to normal. Call now and let us work for you.