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Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) in NY: Not Your “Average” DWI

Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) is an offense that all prosecutors and judges in New York, from Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx to White Plains, Yonkers and Mt. Vernon, take extremely seriously. In fact, as of December 2006, the New York State Legislature put a new law on the books, Aggravated, DWI 1192.2(a), which reflects prosecutors’ and judges’ views.

Aggravated DWI sets forth, in pertinent part, that no person shall operate a motor vehicle while such person has .18 of one per centum or more by weight of alcohol in such person’s blood as shown by chemical analysis of such person’s blood, breath or urine. Although the crime for a first time offender is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail, a felony a felony prosecution punishable by up to 4 years state prison can be brought if in the past 10 years the person has a prior DWI. Assuming this offense is the driver’s first, there is a fine of $1000 to $2500 as well as limitations on what a person can plead to that is significantly more strict than a DWI where that person’s alcohol level is lower.

In the event there is a sentence of probation, the law requires that an ignition interlock be placed on the vehicle until the period of probation is terminated. This mechanism is placed in the vehicle and requires the driver to blow into it before the ignition will start.

Additional requirements and aspects of sentencing include a screening or an assessment, enrollment in an alcohol program and a one year revocation of a person’s driving privileges. While this is not a complete analysis and explanation of the crime and its potential sentences, it should be very clear to anyone who might get behind the wheel while intoxicated – prosecutors and judges are ready, willing and able to hand out sever punishments.

If you find yourself or a loved one charged with any DWI related crime, you should retain counsel who has real experience in this area of law. Not only is your liberty potentially at stake, but your livelihood and integrity. As a former prosecutor in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office for over 7 years, I have the experience necessary from both sides of the law to aggressively advocate for your rights and challenge the prosecution. Don’t let a DWI ruin your career or life.

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