The terminology for drunken driving offenses can be confusing. For instance, New York has charges of driving while intoxicated (DWI) and driving while ability impaired (DWAI). Understanding the particulars of each classification is critical when you’re facing a charge, and the attorneys at the Law Offices of Iannuzzi and Iannuzzi in New York City can explain the details of these and other complicated legal matters.
Elements of a DWI Charge
Like driving under the influence (DUI), DWI is a familiar term for most drivers. However, the two don’t necessarily have the same meaning, especially in New York. If a driver is found to have a blood alcohol content (BAC) at or above the legal limit of .08, they are considered to be driving while intoxicated. A motorist is charged with DUI if their BAC is just below the legal limit or they’re impaired by other substances, such as legal medications or illegal drugs.
Elements of a DWAI Charge
When charged with driving while ability impaired, a person will have a BAC of .05–.07. They also can be charged with DWAI if they exhibit signs of impairment. This determination usually is left to the discretion of the arresting officer, who might administer a field sobriety test to establish the level of debilitation. It also features an indication of the substance causing the impairment, such as DWAI-alcohol or DWAI-drugs.
Consequences of the Charges
DWAI and DWI are criminal offenses, so anyone subject to them should seek the assistance of an experienced attorney as soon as possible. However, a DWAI charge typically is considered less severe, with penalties of up to one year in jail, $1,000 in fines, and a six-month license revocation. A DWI charge can incur punishments of a similar magnitude but also requires the offender to install a breathalyzer device on their vehicle to keep them from driving while intoxicated in the future.
The Law Offices of Iannuzzi and Iannuzzi in New York, NY, have earned a reputation for skilled litigation in the firm’s eight decades of existence. Their experienced DWI attorneys will help you understand your charges and achieve the best possible outcome for your case. Call (212) 227-9595 to schedule a consultation and visit their website for more information about their practice areas, including criminal law.