The Difference Between a DWI, DWAI and Aggravated DWI
It’s important to understand that there are different types of intoxicated driving charges in New York and they each carry different punishments. Listed below are some of the drunk driving charges in New York and their penalties:
- DWI: In New York and everywhere in the U.S, the Blood Alcohol Content limit for a driver is .08%. When a driver is caught with a Blood Alcohol Content of .08% or higher, there are above the legal limit and can be arrested and charged with DWI. Although a first-time DWI charge is a misdemeanor crime, it can come with heavy fines, potential jails time and a possible 6-month suspension of your license. If it is the second or third offense within a three-year period, you can be charged with a felony and risk stricter punishments.
- DWAI: The least serious intoxicated driving charge is called Driving While Abilities Impaired (DWAI). A DWAI charge is an infraction that refers to when a driver has a lower level of alcohol content in their blood (between .05% and .07%) that is impairing their driving. If convicted of a DWAI in New York you could face fines up to $500 plus other fees, a 90-day mandatory suspension of your driver’s license, and prison time up to 15 days. For a second conviction within 5 years of the first, you can receive up to 6 months license suspension and mandatory completion of New York State’s Impaired Driving Program.
- DWAI drug and DWAI combination: For driving while impaired by a single drug that is not alcohol or a combination of drugs, the penalties include up to one year in prison, fines from $500-$1,000, up to three years of probation, mandatory treatment programs and a license suspension up to six months.
All types of charges in New York can be penalized with fines, jail time and the suspension or revocation of your license. Consecutive and third convictions can compound the punishment significantly.
Aggravated DWI Penalties in New York
If you are convicted of an Aggravated DWI in New York, the penalties you face will depend on the nature of the offense and your previous driving record. Listed below are some of penalties you could face:
- First conviction: A misdemeanor crime with punishments of a maximum one year in jail and three years of probation, fines from $1,000 to $2,500, a one-year revocation of your driver’s license, and the installation of an Ignition Interlock Device (IDD). You may also have to attend a Victim Impact Panel.
- Second conviction: If you commit a second Aggravated DWI offense within a period of ten years, this is a Class E felony crime that can carry a jail sentence from one to four years, an 18 month license suspension and fines between $1,000 and $5,000.
- Third conviction: A third Aggravated DWI convicted within a period of ten years can carry between one and seven years jail time and fines from $2,000 to $10,000.
Also, even if it’s a first-time offense, if there is a child in the car when you commit a DWI, DWAI or Aggravated DWI, you will be charged with a felony. The penalties for a DWI with a child can be severe, including up to seven years in prison, a five-year probation, the revocation of your license of at least one year, and up to $10,000 in fines.
If you’ve been accused of an Aggravated DWI in Nassau County, it’s no joking matter. To fight your DWI charge, whether it’s the first, second or third charge, contact an experienced DWI attorney in New York today.