Attorney John M. Dudziak focuses his core legal practice on DWI, DWAI, and other drunk driving offenses. His cases include first time DWI / DWAI offenses, Multiple DWI infractions, as well as accidents caused by drunk driving. As one of the leading law firms in New York, the Law Office of John M. Dudziak has represented countless clients throughout Buffalo and the Western New York region.
Our Buffalo Law Office is not a high volume practice, we are result oriented. We intentionally limit the number of client cases handled at any single time in order to devote ample time to each case, and each client’s specific needs. We recognize that superior results are achieved by not only knowing the current trends in the law but more importantly, intimately knowing the local court system and the individuals on the other side.
New York DWI – What You Need to Know
In New York, DWI means driving while intoxicated. An intoxicant is either drugs or alcohol. If you’re charged with a DWI in New York, you are facing a serious allegation even if it’s your first offense. Here’s what you need to know about DWI in New York.
Types of DWI in New York
There are five categories for DWI in New York.
A DWI requires that you have a blood alcohol content that is above the legal limit of .08% or higher for private vehicles and .04% or higher for commercial vehicles. For New York drivers, a DWI can be charged if you are impaired to a “substantial extent.”
An aggravated DWI is charged against New York drivers if their blood alcohol content is .18% or higher of if you are driving drunk with a passenger who is 15 years old or younger.
Alcohol DWAI means that you are charged with DWI because of alcohol and you do not have the “reasonable and prudent” ability to control a vehicle.
If you are charged with a Drug DWAI, it means that you have drugs in your system that take away your “reasonable and prudent ability to control a vehicle
A combination DWAI means that your ability to drive in a “reasonable and prudent” way is impaired by “any extent.” DWAI is considered a secondary offense. The difference between a DWAI and DWI is the amount of impairment.
Blood Alcohol Content
Blood alcohol content (BAC) is the percentage of alcohol that is present in the blood stream of the driver. In New York, there are different blood alcohol content limits associated with DWI. For New York drivers over the age of 21, the legal limit is .08% for private vehicles. If you drive a commercial vehicle, the BAC limit is .04%. For drivers under the age of 21, the limit is .02
There’s no perfect way to say exactly how many drinks it would take you to reach the legal limit. Our bodies process alcohol differently. There are BAC charts available online that are based on the weight of a person. The charts are not a guarantee. You should always err on the side of caution and drink less to avoid a DWI.
These tests enable the officer to formulate an opinion as to whether or not you are intoxicated. Under New York state law, an officer is allowed to make this determination without administering either of the other two tests. The officer can also charge you with DWI if they observe certain tell-tale signs of intoxication. These might include an unsteady walk, flushed cheeks, bloodshot and watery eyes, smelling like alcohol, and so on.
The second type of field sobriety test in New York is a breath test. In a breath test, the officer requests that you blow into a machine for a certain length of time. The machine will analyze the air coming out of your lungs to determine whether or not you are intoxicated at or past the legal limit.
The third type of field sobriety test in New York is a chemical test. The blood, urine, or other bodily fluids are taken and tested to determine your BAC. This test usually takes place at the police department or at a hospital.
What Happens If You Refuse to Take a Field Sobriety Test?
If you refuse to take a field sobriety test, you will face immediate consequences. Under the law, your driver’s license creates the duty for you to follow the laws related to operating a motor vehicle. The immediate consequences are not criminal in nature, but they will still drastically affect your life. The refusal may be used against you in court. Your driver’s license will also be suspended even if it is a first offense.
A DWI can be a misdemeanor or a felony. Usually, first time DWI charges in New York are misdemeanors. Yet, if you’ve had a previous DWI, even if it was ten years ago, you could still face felony charges.
DWIs have a risk of jail time. For first time offenders, there is no minimum amount of jail time that you must serve. You could still be sentenced to jail time, but there is no minimum amount. Second DWI offenses in New York have a minimum of five days in jail or 30 days of community service. Third DWI offenses in New York have a minimum of ten days in jail or 60 days of community service.
DWIs also come with expensive fines. First time offenses will include fines between $500 and $1,000. Second time offenses will include fines between $500 and $5,000. Third time offenses will include fines between $500 and $10,000.
You could also lose your driver’s license even if it is your first DWI in New York. First time DWI charges result in a minimum of a six month suspension. Second time DWI charges come with a minimum of a one year suspension. Third offenses mean you will lose your license for a minimum of six years.
Regardless of whether it is your first offense, you’ll also be required to have an ignition interlock device in your car for a specified period of time.
Questions About DWI?
If you’re facing a DWI charge in New York, you need experienced legal representation. Call the Law Office of John M. Dudziak at (716) 465-6001 now to schedule your free consultation with an experienced DWI Attorney in Buffalo NY.
Attorney John M. Dudziak is dedicated to representing clients who have been arrested for DWI throughout Western New York.
If you have been arrested for DWI or DWAI, you can’t afford to fight it alone. You need to hire a proficient Buffalo DWI Lawyer who can effectively challenge your criminal charges. As a top-rated, highly successful, and extensively experienced attorney, you can be confident in Attorney John M. Dudziak’s ability to successfully defend your charges and ensure your freedom.
Contact our DWI Attorney in Buffalo NY, John M. Dudziak to receive the personalized legal solutions you need, and the support you deserve. One call does it all!