For a lot of New York criminal defendants, navigating our state's legal system can be difficult and confusing. However, the first step in staying out of trouble is to know and be familiar with the laws. This article will discuss one of the most important criminal violations that New York residents should be aware of related to drugs, alcohol and driving.
Here is a comprehensive list of alcohol and drug related crimes:
— Driving While Intoxicated: Usually referred to as DWI in its short form, a driving while intoxicated offense involves operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content of .08 percent or more. The offense could also relate to the operation of a motor vehicle with other signs of intoxication. When it comes to commercial motor vehicle drivers, the blood alcohol limit for intoxication is .04 percent.
— Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated: Usually referred to as Aggravated DWI in its short form, aggravated driving while intoxicated is a more severe offense related to those with a .18 blood alcohol content level or more.
— Driving While Ability Impaired by Alcohol: Usually referred to as DWAI/Alcohol in its short form, driving while ability impaired by alcohol is an offense that relates to a blood alcohol content of higher than .05 percent and less than .07 percent. This offense is not as serious as normal DWI, but it could still get drivers in trouble with the law.
— Driving While Ability Impaired by a Single Drug: Usually referred to as DWAI/Drug in its short form, this offense relates to people using a single drug while driving a motor vehicle.
— Driving While Ability Impaired by a Combined Influence of Drugs: Usually referred to as DWAI/Combination, this offense relates to drivers accused of being impaired by multiple drugs while driving an automobile.
— Zero Tolerance Law: Underage drivers under the age of 21 need to be aware of New York's zero-tolerance law, which states that drivers can be arrested and accused of underaged DWI if they have a blood alcohol content in excess of .19 percent.
If you live in the Queens area of New York City and have been accused of an alcohol or drug related driving offense, a criminal defense lawyer may be able to help you navigate your criminal proceedings by providing advice and guidance about your case.
Source: New York Department of Motor Vehicles, "Penalties for alcohol or drug-related violations," accessed Sep. 28, 2016