DWI License Center
Alcohol & Drug Related Driving Charges In New York State
Mayo Bartlett is a DWI Defense Lawyer who has the experience and dedication that you or your loved one needs on their side when facing DWI, DUI, DWAI and related charges. He is a former Westchester County prosecutor who served more than 10 years in the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office in White Plains, New York, was recognized as a Super Lawyer, and he was selected as one of the Top 100 Trial Lawyers by the National Trial Lawyers. He has also been a Criminal Defense Attorney and Westchester DWI defense Lawyer since 2003, and he has a thorough understanding of police procedure from years spent working with officers and detectives in White Plains and throughout Westchester County, Putnam County, New York City and the Hudson Valley.
Mayo Bartlett was recently featured in the Journal News in a front page story entitled "Drunken driving: What you need to know during the holidays" which focused on the impact DWI arrests have on people and describes the hardships that one may encounter as a result of drinking and driving, or of being arrested even though one was not impaired.
Mayo Bartlett puts his clients first, and he has won the 10 Best Client Satisfaction Award from the American Institute of DUI/DWI Attorneys, and he was selected the AVVO Client's Choice for DUI defense.
As a former Westchester County District Attorney, and current Westchester DWI defense Lawyer, he has handled thousands of DWI, DWAI, and DWAI Drug cases and has successfully provided Criminal Defense to his clients which have resulted in many felony charges being reduced to misdemeanors, or had them dismissed entirely. Mayo Bartlett is a Westchester DWI trial Attorney and he has extensive criminal trial experience in New York State and Federal Courts. He is familiar with the multiple aspects of handling DWI and DUI related cases from the investigative stage through trial. Our Westchester County DWI defense Lawyers work frequently with private investigators and forensic experts who form our Westchester DWI Defense team to provide you with the best defense.
Interlock Ignition Device
Under Leandra’s Law anyone convicted of a misdemeanor or felony DWI in New York is required to install an ignition interlock system into any car owned or driven by them. This penalty applies to anyone who was convicted of a DWI in New York, even if it is their first offense. The ignition interlock is a device that detects blood alcohol concentration by measuring the alcohol in a person’s breath. In order to drive a car that is equipped with the interlock, a person must blow into the device to turn it on, and then continuously blow into the interlock device periodically to keep the vehicle running. If you are convicted of DWI law and you are required to install the ignition interlock in your car, you are not able to drive any car unless an ignition interlock were installed during the period that the court requires the installation of the ignition interlock in your vehicle, or in vehicles you drive.
Many courts in New York City, Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess, Rockland and Ulster are requiring instillation of the ignition interlock for six months, to one year or more. The ignition interlock can cost several hundred dollars to install and maintain. It is extremely sensitive, and it may detect as little as .025 BAC. It may detect such a small amount of alcohol that the consumption of cough medicine may prevent a person from driving a car with the interlock ignition device installed in it.
DWI & DWAI Blood Alcohol Thresholds
New York State law established .05 BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration) to be impaired operation of a motor vehicle (DWAI), .08 BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration) as the threshold for a driver to be considered drunk or intoxicated (DWI). If you have a BAC over .14 in Westchester County, the DA has a strict policy and will hold you as charged, however, you may be eligible to earn a reduced plea by participating in a process specifically designed for first time offenders who have a BAC of between .14 and .17. Our Westchester DWI Attorneys will work with you to prepare a mitigation packet for the DA to consider toward reduction of your case.
DWI With Children In The Car
Leandra’s Law makes DWI a felony in New York if any passenger in the car is under 16 years of age. A first offense may be a Class E Felony, and could result in 5 years’ probation or a maximum penalty of 4 years in jail. In Westchester County, the District Attorney has a policy of holding people who drive with children under 16 in the car to the felony.
Special Rules for Multiple DWI and Drugged Driving Offenders
After September 25, 2012, a series of new rules took affect concerning persons who are Multiple DWI and or Drugged Driving Offenders.
Persons with 2 or more alcohol-drugged-driving related convictions or incidents within the preceding 25 years will be required to serve their entire sanction period (suspension or revocation) even if they complete the Drinking Driver Program (DDP).
Persons with either 3 or 4 alcohol-drugged-driving related convictions or incidents within the preceding 25 years, without a serious driving offense and whose revocation is not the result from an alcohol or drugged driving conviction or incident, will be denied relicensing for two years in addition to the statutory revocation period, and then will be relicensed with a problem driver restriction for two years. A serious driving offense means a fatal accident; a driving-related penal law conviction; conviction of two or more violations for which five or more points are assessed; or 20 or more points from any violations.
Persons with 3 or 4 alcohol-drugged-driving related convictions or incidents within the preceding 25 years, without a serious driving offense and whose revocation is the result of an alcohol or drugged driving conviction or incident, will be denied relicensing for five years in addition to the statutory revocation period, and then will be relicensed with a problem driver restriction for 5 years with an ignition interlock.
Persons with 3 or 4 alcohol-drugged-driving related convictions or incidents within the preceding 25 years, with a serious driving offense will be permanently denied relicensure, subject to compelling or extenuating circumstances.
Persons with 5 or more alcohol-drugged-driving related convictions or incidents on their lifetime driving record will be permanently denied relicensing, subject to compelling or extenuating circumstances.
You may be prosecuted for Aggravated DWI [Vehicle and Traffic Law 1192 (2-a)] if you operate a vehicle while you have a .18 BAC or higher.
- First offense Aggravated DWI carries a fine of $1,000 - $2,500, up to 1 year in jail and a License Revocation for at least one year.
- Second offense Aggravated DWI within 10 years is a Class E felony with a fine of between $1,000 - $5,000, up to 4 years in state prison, and a license revocation for at least 18-months.
- Third offense Aggravated-DWI in 10 years is a Class D felony and carries a fine of between $2,000 - $10,000, up to 7 years in state prison, and a license revocation for at least 18-months.
DWI Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)
You may be prosecuted for DWI if you drive and have a blood alcohol concentration .08 BAC or higher, or .04 BAC or higher if you possess a Commercial License (Vehicle and Traffic Law 1192(2). You may also be prosecuted for DWI if there is other evidence of intoxication (Vehicle and Traffic Law 1192(3). Evidence of intoxication may include, but are not limited to the following:
- Odor of alcoholic beverage on your breath
- Slurred speech
- Difficulty standing
- Difficulty walking
- Glassy Eyes
- Inability to walk a straight line
- Inability to say the alphabet, or to count 1 to 10'Failure of the Gaze Nystagmus Test
DWAI: Driving While Ability Impaired (by alcohol)
You may be prosecuted for DWAI (Driving While Ability Impaired by Alcohol) under Vehicle and Traffic Law 1192(1) if you have .05 BAC to .07 BAC, or other evidence of impairment as listed above under DWI.
- Penalties for First DWAI $300 - $500, 15 days in jail, and a license suspension for 90 days.
- Second DWAI violation in 5 years are a fine of $500 - $750, 30 days in jail, and a license revocation for at least six months.
DWAI Drugs: Driving While Ability Impaired (by a drug that is not alcohol)
You may be prosecuted for DWAI Drugs under Vehicle and Traffic Law 1192(4) if you show signs of impaired ability to operate a motor vehicle, and that impairment is a result of the consumption of a drug and/or combination of alcohol. This is particularly problematic for people who smoke marihuana because it remains in a person’s body for 28 or more days. For this reason, you may show the presence of marihuana even if it was consumed days or weeks earlier.
- Penalties for a First Offense DWAI Drugs are a fine of 500 - $1,000, up to 1 year in jail, a license revocation for at least six months.
- Second DWAI Drugs in 10 years is a Class E Felony and penalties include a fine of $1,000 - $5,000, up to 4 years in jail, and a license revocation for at least one year/18 months.
- Third DWAI/Combination in 10 years is a Class D Felony and penalties include a fine of $2,000 - $10,000, 7 years incarceration in state prison, and a license revocation for at least one year and up to18 months.
Refusal To Take A Chemical Test
If you refuse a chemical test for BAC (Blood Alcohol Content), your license will be suspended by the court at your arraignment, and the court will schedule a DMV refusal hearing. You will also be subject to a civil penalty of $300 (second offense, $750).
A driver who refuses to take a chemical test (normally a test of breath, blood or urine) can receive a driver license revocation of at least one year (18 months for a commercial driver) and must pay a $500 civil penalty ($550 for a driver of commercial vehicles) to apply for a new driver license.
Drivers who refuse a chemical test within 5 years after a DWI-related conviction, or prior refusal will have their driver license revoked for at least 18 months, if they hold a commercial license, they will lose it permanently, and both must pay a $750 civil penalty to apply for a new driver license.
The penalties and fines for refusing to submit to a chemical test are separate from, and in addition to the penalties and fines for alcohol or drug-related convictions. For this reason, it is possible for a person to be found not guilty of the underlying DWI related offense, yet still have his or her license revoked following the DMV Refusal Hearing. If you are found to have refused a chemical test, you may be ineligible for a Conditional License unless you are convicted of an underlying DWI related offense.
The Westchester County District Attorney's Office has implemented strict new policies concerning DWI related offenses. If you have a refusal, you will be held as charged to the DWI, and the Westchester DA's policy will be not to reduce your case to a DWAI. Our Westchester DWI defense Lawyers will work closely with you and with substance abuse professionals in an effort to mitigate your case so that you may be considered for a reduction where appropriate.
Zero Tolerance Law
Under the Zero Tolerance Law, a driver who is under 21 years of age, and who operates a motor vehicle with a .02 BAC to .07 BAC violates the Zero Tolerance Law. Drivers who are under 21 years old who refuse to take a chemical test under the Zero Tolerance Law are subject to a 1-year license revocation and a $300 civil penalty.
Drivers under 21 years old who refuse a chemical test within five years of a DWI-related charge or previous refusal, they will have their driver license revoked for at least one year or until they reach 21 years of age, whichever is longer and must pay a $750 civil penalty to apply for a new driver license.
Following your first conviction for DWI, DUI or DWAI you must complete the Drinking Driver Program (DDP) if you wish to receive a conditional license. Following completion of DDP you may receive a conditional license.
DWI & DWAI CONVICTIONS may impact out of state licenses, and other states may consider New York State DWI or DWAI convictions as predicates for enhanced sentences to be imposed on subsequent DWI or DUI convictions in their state. Some states have mandatory incarceration for DWI or DUI related convictions.