If you are facing drunk driving charges in New York, you probably have questions about the process -- and about the specific charges that could affect your future. Not all DWI charges are created equal. In fact, a variety of drug- and alcohol-related allegations exist, depending on your level of intoxication and a variety of other factors. Understanding your charges is the first step to protecting your future with criminal defense in a New York court.
So, what can you be charged with in New York? Three levels of alcohol-related allegations exist. The lowest, which is called driving while ability impaired by alcohol, is used for drivers with blood alcohol content of at least 0.5 percent but lower than 0.7 percent. The next category is simply known as driving while intoxicated, and is used for private vehicle operators who have a BAC of at least 0.8 percent - or 0.4 percent for commercial drivers. Finally, more severe penalties exist for those who have a BAC equal to or higher than 0.18 percent.
Other types of drunk driving charges exist for drivers who are accused of consuming drugs -- and for drivers who are under the age of 21, who are subject to special underage drunk driving requirements. Knowing the category of charges that you are facing can help you mount a more effective criminal defense. Further, the penalties for each category of offense tend to be significantly different, so it makes sense to understand the nuances of the charges you are facing.
A criminal defense attorney in New York can provide you with the education you need to fully understand the charges you face -- and make decisions that can positively impact the outcome of your case. No matter your alleged BAC level at the time of your arrest, you still have legal rights that need to be protected. Enlisting the help of this type of attorney can be beneficial for a variety of reasons.
Source: New York Department of Motor Vehicles, "Penalties for alcohol or drug-related violations," accessed Jan. 12, 2017