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What is a DWAI?

Many people believe that they can get charged with a DWI for driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of at least .08 percent. Although that is true, you can still be charged with driving while ability impaired (DWAI) if your BAC is below the legal limit—as long as your impairment hinders your ability to operate your vehicle in a safe manner.

There are three types of DWAI in New York: DWAI by alcohol, DWAI by a controlled substance or illegal drug, and DWAI by a combination of alcohol and drugs. When it comes to DWAI by alcohol, a driver must have a BAC level of over .05 percent but less than .07 percent, or any other evidence of impairment.

The following are the penalties for a first-time DWAI in New York:

  • DWAI by alcohol – A conviction is punishable by a maximum 15-day jail sentence, a fine of up to $500, and driver’s license suspension for up to 90 days.
  • DWAI by a drug – A conviction carries a maximum one-year jail sentence, a fine no more than $1,000, and driver’s license suspension for a minimum of six months.
  • DWAI by a combination of alcohol and drugs – A conviction results in a jail term of up to one year, a maximum $1,00 fine, and driver’s license suspension for at least six months.

Repeat DWAI offenses can lead to harsher consequences. For instance, if a person is convicted of three DWAIs within a ten-year period, he/she faces a prison term of up to seven years and a maximum $10,000 fine.

If you have been arrested for DWAI in New York, contact Martin A. Kron & Associates, P.C. today at (212) 235-1525 and request a free case review.

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