Bronx DWI Lawyer
Law enforcement officials in the Bronx are rarely tolerant when it comes to suspected instances of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The penalties provided under New York Vehicle and Traffic Law for Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) can be severe, potentially impacting your work life as well as numerous aspects of daily life.
An experienced Bronx DWI lawyer knows that a charge of driving while impaired or intoxicated can often be challenged in court. Consult an accomplished criminal defense attorney from the Law Offices of Jeffrey Lichtman who could act quickly to protect your rights and preserve evidence that could prove crucial to your case.
Testing for a DWI Violation in the Bronx
New York Vehicle and Traffic Law encompasses a number of different specific criminal offenses related to operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. For many of these crimes, a violation is determined by whether the driver’s blood alcohol concentration or BAC has reached a certain level. The BAC is detected by a chemical test, which is often a breath test but can be a test of the driver’s blood, urine or saliva.
Driving on public roads is considered implicit consent to undergo a chemical BAC test if requested to do so by a police officer. Refusal to take a test when requested is a separate criminal violation on its own. However, the chemical tests must be administered properly and according to statutory requirements for the results to be admissible in court. A Bronx lawyer may be able to determine when and how to challenge the testing procedures as part of the defensive strategy for a DWI case.
Can Police Officers Make an Arrest without a Breath Test?
The law allows a police officer to make an arrest if they have probable cause to believe that a driver is drunk. This can center around no more than an officer’s observations at the scene of a traffic stop. An officer may base an arrest on the smell of alcohol, a driver’s slurred speech, or a driver’s glassy eyes. These arrests that center on these observations may need to result in a full trial for a driver to prove their innocence.
What are the Types of DWI Offenses in Bronx?
The most common criminal offense involving driving under the influence of alcohol is a DWI—or, as it is described in New York Vehicle and Traffic Law §1192, driving while intoxicated. A driver is considered to be driving while intoxicated if they operate a vehicle with a BAC of .08 or higher. For drivers of commercial vehicles, the threshold for a DWI violation is even lower; .04 BAC or other evidence of intoxication is sufficient for a violation.
Drivers found to have a BAC of .18 or higher may be found guilty of Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated (NY VTL §1192-2a), a more serious offense with stiffer penalties. Similarly, those found to be driving while under the influence of a drug or a combination of drugs and alcohol may also be found guilty of driving while impaired.
Other DWI offenses include refusing to take a chemical test when police suspect driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (NY VTL §1194), and the zero-tolerance offense alternatively known as “driving after having consumed alcohol” (NY VTL §1194-a). The latter law provides penalties for drivers under the age of 21 found to be driving with even a small amount of alcohol (.02 BAC) in the bloodstream. An attorney in the Bronx could help someone prepare a defense if they have been accused of DWI or another drunk driving charge.
Penalties for Drunk Driving Violations
The penalties in cases involving driving under the influence or while intoxicated vary depending on a variety of factors, including the age of the driver, any prior convictions for DWI, and the amount of alcohol concentrated in the bloodstream.
All these violations—even those not technically considered a crime—will result in suspension or revocation of a convicted party’s driver’s license. However, in certain circumstances it is possible to apply for a restricted license or other accommodation, so it is often wise to speak with a drunk driving defense lawyer in the Bronx about this as soon as possible. The potential penalties for a DWI also include jail time, even for non-criminal offenses. Sentences can range from 15 days for a first-time driving while impaired by alcohol violation, to four to seven years for repeat offenders convicted of DWI. Fines range up $125 for violations of the zero-tolerance law to $500 for a first time DWI and can increase up to $10,000 for repeat offenders.
Contacting a Bronx DWI Attorney
Any conviction that involves suspension of driving privileges and jail time is a serious matter, no matter how seemingly minor the charge may be. An experienced Bronx DWI lawyer could evaluate the circumstances of your unique case, advise you of your options, and help you move toward a positive resolution.