It's your nephew Kyle's 21st birthday. He's leaving for boot camp in a few weeks and you wanted to throw him a memorable party. You took everyone out for a late afternoon cruise on the Hudson, and then back to your place where the real party got started. You've got a family of drinkers on your hands and they didn't let you down. Well, everyone except Kyle. During the party, he went off to the Stop & Shop for some cigarettes and got popped for a DWI.
The Newburgh Police pulled him over for a broken tail light and weaving into another lane of traffic. Now he's sitting in a jail cell, crying about how he's supposed to leave to the Army and how this "can't go on his record."
If you are looking for some answers about a Newburgh DWI/DUI, FindLaw can help. While every case is different, depending on the individual circumstances, but here is a general overview of what could happen in a typical DWI case.
Criminal Charges: Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)
In the state of New York, there are a few ways drivers can be in violation of are the DWI laws:
- (DWI) You are driving and your chemical test (blood, breath, or urine) result is 0.08%. Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) or higher
- (DWI) You are driving and determined to be under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs
- (DWAI/Drug and or combination of Drugs and Alcohol) You are driving and your ability to drive is impaired by drugs or drugs and alcohol combined
Related and Aggravated Charges
You'll face enhanced penalties in any of the following situations:
High BAC: If you went on a beer bust or took one too many Fireball whiskey shots, and your BAC is .18 of higher, guess what? New York has a special charge for you--aggravated DWI.
DWI with A Child Under 16 in the Car: It doesn't matter the reason. If you have a minor in your car under 16 years old, you may face a class E felony. Known as Leandra's Law, it's one of the toughest child protection laws in the nation.
Under Age 21: If you are under 21, New York has zero tolerance for drinking and driving. You'll be charged if you have a BAC of .02 BAC to .07 BAC.
Chemical Test Refusal: Think you can fool the system by refusing to take a chemical test? That's your prerogative, but as a New York driver, you've already given your implied consent to take a chemical test if you are suspected of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol and driving. If you refuse to take the chemical test (breath, blood or urine) you 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.
If you refuse a chemical test during the five years after a DWI-related charge or previous refusal will have their driver license revoked for at least 18 months (permanent for a commercial driver) and must pay a $750 civil penalty to apply for a new driver license.
Possible DWI Criminal Penalties
The length of your sentence largely depends on your BAC and any prior DWI/DUI convictions on your record in the past ten years.
For first time DWI/DUI offenders, you can be sentenced to up to a year in county jail, a fine from $1,000-$2,500, and a minimum one-year license revocation. If this is your second offense within ten years, you can face a felony and go to jail for up to four years, a hefty fine and a minimum 18-month license revocation. If this is your third within ten years, you'll face a felony and the court can sentence you to up to seven years in jail, a significant fine, and a minimum one-year license suspension.
These penalties are on top of any mandatory drug or alcohol counseling the court can impose. You might also be ordered to attended a Victim Impact Panel.
Ignition Interlock Device
If you've been convicted of any DWI-related offense, the judge has the option of requiring you to install an ignition interlock device (IID) on any vehicle you own or intend to drive. The court might have you install the device if the court might order an IID if you had:
- A BAC of at least 0.18%;
- Having a Minor in the Car under the age of 16 (mandatory installation);
- Moving violations prior to the DWI;
- Prior DWI convictions within ten years; or
- Refused the chemical test.
New York DWIs are a Two-Part Process
Most people don't realize that when they are arrested for a DWI in New York, they'll have to deal with two historically unpopular government agencies: the New York DMV and the Newburgh criminal courts. Why? Because the DMV will handle your license suspension pursuant to the implied consent laws and the courts will deal with your criminal case.
Your License Suspension
Let's talk about that precious N.Y. driver's license you worked so hard to get. Your driving privilege will be automatically suspended by the DMV once you get arrested. It doesn't matter whether or not you are later convicted of the crime in a Newburgh courtroom.
To get your license reinstated after a suspension, you must wait for the suspension period to expire and pay a reinstatement fee. You may be eligible for a "hardship license" or a "pre-conviction conditional license."
Whew. That was a lot of information. If you've been arrested and charged, consider speaking to a Newburgh DUI lawyer to learn about your options.
Remember, it's best to never drink or use drugs and drive. Select a designated driver ahead of time who will stay sober. You can also ask someone else to give you a ride, call a taxi, or use public transportation.