Drunk Driving-DWI-DWAI

Welcome to the DWI defense page of New York Drunk Driving Attorney Kenneth F. Smith, PLLC

New York Driving While Intoxicated/Impaired Defense Attorney Kenneth F. Smith

An accusation of DWI/DUI is a very big deal. A conviction carries with it the possibility of suspension or revocation of your driver's license, fines, even jail time. On top of that, your insurance premiums could rise significantly and you could lose your job and be saddled with a criminal record. 

If you've been arrested for DWI/DUI, you need to hire an attorney immediately, an attorney who has the kind of experience with drunk driving cases that attorney Kenneth F. Smith does.

How Kenneth F. Smith can help with your case:

An arrest for DWI/DUI requires that the police observe specific protocols very carefully and to make written records. Failure by the police to take these actions creates various defenses that can be used to help you with your case.

photo by Scott Davidson

photo by Scott Davidson

For example, the officers may have made the car stop of your vehicle improperly and without reasonable suspicion, the breathalyser protocols have not been have properly followed, or the breathalyser machine may not have the necessary maintenance records to show it is in proper working order.  As your DWI attorney, Kenneth F. Smith will comb through the government's evidence to find any and all possible weaknesses to exploit in your defense.

Based on that, it might be possible to have the District Attorney or the Court dismiss or reduce the charges against you.  If the prosecution's evidence against you is beyond question, we can seek alternatives to jail and license suspension, such as community service and alcohol or drug treatment or counseling programs.

If the case can't be "resolved"...

If a non-trial disposition cannot be worked out, Kenneth F. Smith will try your case before a jury or a judge and try to get you acquitted of the charges. As a former prosecutor who has handled DWI/DUI cases from the government side as well as the defense,

The police and district attorneys know Kenneth F. Smith has the courage and the experience to win at trial and that's why he has a reputation for delivering aggressive, unwavering defense.

So call the Law Offices of Kenneth F. Smith, PLLC today: make an appointment to talk about how we can help you. (646) 450-9929


Penalties - New York

A conviction for DWI in New York carries minimum penalties per statute as follows:

First conviction: Up to a year in jail, a fine of $500 to $1000, ($1000 to $2500 for an aggravated offense), a 6 month license revocation, and 6 months with an ignition interlock device installed in any vehicle you own/operate.

Second conviction (within 10 years of the first): up to four years jail, a fine of $1000 to $5000, a minimum license revocation of one year, and 6 months with an ignition interlock device installed in any vehicle you own/operate.

Third conviction (within 10 years of the first two): up to seven years jail, a fine of $2000 to $10,000, a minimum license revocation of one year, and 6 months, minimum with an ignition interlock device installed in any vehicle you own/operate

Commercial Drivers: Bus, Taxi & Truck Drivers

bus - photo by oran viriyinci

bus - photo by oran viriyinci

Holders of a Commercial Driver License ("CDL") are held to a stricter standard than "regular" licence holders regarding (1) how much alcohol in a motorist's blood stream is required before they are intoxicated as a matter of law, and (2) the penalties that result from a conviction.

Generally, CDL licence holders can be arrested for DWI if their blood alcohol content ("BAC") measures .04 or higher.  

A first conviction of a DWI/DWAI offense will result in a CDL holder's license being suspended for one year.  

A second conviction will result in a permanent revocation of a CDL holder's commercial driving privileges. 


Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI) in New York

photo by Jeffrey Smith - jsmith photo

photo by Jeffrey Smith - jsmith photo

Driving While Ability Impaired is a violation of the law that charges a person while driving while "impaired" something less than full-blown intoxication. So you can be arrested and charged for having a BAC of less than .08 %, even though the cutoff point for per-se intoxication in New York is .08% BAC.

DWAI is generally classified as a traffic infraction in New York, rather than a crime (see below, however).  It carries minimum penalties by statute as follows:

First conviction: up to 15 days jail, a fine of $300 to $500, and a license suspension of 90 days.

Second conviction (within 5 years of the first): up to 15 days jail, a fine of $500 to $750, and a six-month license revocation.

Third conviction (within 10 years of the first two): up to 180 days jail, a fine of $750 to $1500, and a six-month license revocation. (This offense is classified as a misdemeanor).

Ignition Interlock Device

As of 2010, anyone convicted of DWI in New York State is subject to a minimum term of 6 months during which they must have an ignition interlock device installed in any vehicle owned or operated by the motorist.

Ignition-Interlock-Device

This device must be installed at the motorist's expense.  When installed, the motorist must blow into the machine in order to start the vehicle's ignition. A BAC reading of higher than the legal limit will result in the vehicle being rendered inoperable!