One of the most serious potential traffic offenses that someone can be arrested for is driving under the influence (also known as a DUI). In New York, this is split up into two types of offenses: driving while ability impaired (DWAI) and driving while intoxicated (DWI), with a DWI being more severe than a DWAI. If you are arrested and convicted on a DUI charge, you could face numerous potential consequences, including the following:
- A DUI is a criminal offense, one for which you could wind up spending time in jail or prison. While those who commit lower-level DUI offenses are more likely to walk away without being incarcerated, more severe offenses can result in years of imprisonment. Potential factors that could worsen the penalties against you include things like driving without a license, driving with a child in the vehicle, or having multiple successive DUI offenses.
- Fines and fees
- In addition to the risk of jail time, the court can impose fines for both DWAI and DWI offenses. Depending on the severity of your offense, you could see fines ranging from a few hundred dollars, to as high as $10,000 for the most severe offenses. When you add on mandatory court fees, even a low-level DUI offense can become very costly, very quickly.
- Losing your license
- Every DUI offense comes with a suspension or revocation of your driver’s license, preventing you from legally driving a vehicle. If your license is suspended, it will be restored once the suspension period ends and you have paid all suspension termination fees. If your license is revoked, you will need permission from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), and must apply for a new license, which includes going through the entire licensing process.
- Installation of an ignition interlock device
- It is fairly common for people convicted of a DUI to need to have an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicle. This device requires a driver to blow into an on-board breathalyzer, which will only allow the car to start if the breathalyzer shows a BAC level below the legal limit. You could face further legal penalties if you try to circumvent the ignition interlock device, either by having someone else blow into it for you or by mechanically disabling it.
- Finally, you could be forced to attend rehabilitation for drug or alcohol abuse. While this is ostensibly for your own good, this rehab is a part of your sentence, and you must show positive results while going through the process of rehabilitation. If you fail to show up for rehab, or fail to keep clean while in rehab, you could face further legal problems.
Fox Law Firm, PLLC is a New York criminal defense practice serving clients throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties. With more than three decades of law practice experience, attorney Kevin Fox has helped clients with their personal injury and criminal defense needs. If you or someone you know has been charged with a crime, call us at 631-779-3400 or visit our contact page to discuss your legal options.