New York DWAI

New York DWAI
In New York, driving while ability impaired (DWAI) is considered a lesser offense than driving while intoxicated (DWI). Even though New York DWAI is not as serious as a DWI, it could show up on your driving record and may result in penalties such as the loss of driving privileges. If you have recently been arrested and charged with DWAI, you should consider hiring an experienced DWI defense attorney to help fight the charges against you.

The legal limit for drivers over 21 in New York is .08%. If you are over this legal limit, you have committed a “per se” offense, and may be charged with DWI. If you test below this legal limit, but the officer believes that your driving abilities were affected by alcohol, you may then be charged with DWAI. Please note that if you are charged with DWI, you will more than likely also be charged with DWAI.

In order to convict you of New York DWAI, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that (1) you (2) were driving (3) a motor vehicle (4) on a public roadway (5) while your blood alcohol was over the legal limit or your driving was affected because of intoxication.

How does the prosecution prove that your driving was affected by alcohol? The arresting officer may take the stand to comment on your behavior, appearance, performance on field sobriety tests, and driving behavior before being pulled over. The officer may have observed that your eyes were bloodshot, you smelled like alcohol, or your speech was slurred. However, your attorney may argue that other factors contributed to your appearance at the time of arrest; for example, your bloodshot eyes may be explained by fatigue or allergies.

The penalties for New York DWAI may include jail time, mandatory fines, and a driver’s license suspension. You may also be subject to a driver’s license suspension by the Department of Motor Vehicles.