New York: Department of Motor Vehicles Alcohol and Drug Driving Violations

DWI In New York – Here’s What To Expect

Just what is DWI

First of all, make no mistake, DWI is a crime and it doesn’t matter where you are, in New York state or any other state, the things which do differ between states is what penalties you can expect if you are convicted of DWI. This is a serious matter with very serious consequences, we’re talking loss of driving privileges (often for a l-o-o-o-ng time), hefty fines and even the possibility of spending some time in jail. If you’ve been drinking alcohol it completely changes your co-ordination (even trying to get the key in the front door lock can be a major hassle after a few scoops) and judgment, your ability to drive a vehicle can change considerably when you’ve been drinking alcohol, with the level of that impairment depending on;

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  • How much did you drink (we’re talking really . . . . not the old, I only had a small beer and a bowl of sherry trifle officer).
  • How much you’ve had to eat, either before or whilst you were drinking. Drinking on an empty stomach is always a bad idea, don’t you remember your Mom making you eat half a loaf of bread before you were allowed out to your first parties to “soak it up” . . . must be just in our house then.
  • How long you’ve been drinking. This is generally measured in hours, not days!
  • How big you are . . . . your body weight can have an influence on how much the alcohol affects you.
  • Your gender . . . sorry girls, but boys can generally drink more alcohol with less effect, it’s something to do with their body make up . . . except for my mate Vicky, she can drink any man she meets under the table, and then some more (she doesn’t drive though).

Sobering up takes some time too, before you’re fit to drive again that is. Plenty of people have been caught DWI the next morning, on their way to their work if they’ve had a heavy session the night before. Figure it on a drink per hour, so if you’ve had 10 drinks and didn’t get to bed until 3 am, you won’t be fit to drive again until 1 o’clock the following afternoon at the very earliest.

New York State drug-related and alcohol related violations.

Okay, here’s where we get to the “nitty gritty” of what you can actually be charged with if you are caught DWI in New York State. For your information – BAC means “blood alcohol concentration” . . . which is what they measure if you’re suspected of driving whilst intoxicated in New York State.

  • DWI – To be guilty of DWI you must have BAC of .08 or more, or different evidence of being intoxicated, however,  if you’re driving a commercial motor vehicle you should only have a BAC of .04 in New York State.
  • Aggravated DWI – if your BAC is .18 or higher, you could be guilty of Aggravated DWI.
  • DWAI/Alcohol – if you have between .05 and .07 BAC then you could be guilty of DWAI – Driving While Ability Impaired (by alcohol). This drops to .02 for anyone driving a commercial vehicle who is under the age of 21 years, or is showing other evidence of impairment.
  • DWAI/Drug – this offence is Driving While Ability Impaired by not alcohol, but a single other drug.
  • DWAI/Combination – you got it . . . . Driving While Ability Impaired because of a mixture of both drugs and alcohol.
  • Chemical Test Refusal – you might think that it’s a smart idea to refuse a chemical test . . . it’s not.  New York State chemical tests are generally either blood, urine or a test of breath, and simply by refusing to take this test you can have your license revoked for a year, whether you were DWI or not. This period of time extends to 18 months for drivers of commercial vehicles, and on top of that will have to pay whopping fee of $500 ($550 for commercial vehicle drivers) for a new driver license. If you refuse to take a chemical test within five years of being convicted of a DWI related offence (or have refused previously . . . . some bozo’s never learn) then you’ll lose your license for at least 18 months (commercial drivers lose their license permanently, and that’s a very long time) and have to $750 for a new license. Any drivers under the age of 21 who refuse to take a chemical test within five years of a previous DWI related offence will lose their license for at least a year or until they’ve reached the age of 21 years (whichever is the longest) and then pay a penalty of $750 for a new drivers license. Not only is this DWI stuff dangerous and stupid, it’s also pretty expensive!
  • Zero tolerance law – if you are less than 21 years of age and drive with .02 BAC – .07 BAC is violating the Zero tolerance law. 

Has this got you thinking . . . I hope so. DWI is never a good idea, you can end up hurting yourself, even worse hurting somebody else and seriously out of pocket. 

How funny was that? I mean, there’s nothing funny about DWI, but that WAS funny . . . .



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