The dangers of drinking and driving are well known to residents in New York and elsewhere. However, despite this knowledge, some drivers still get behind the wheel of a vehicle while intoxicated. If a driver is pulled over following a traffic violation or accident and an officer suspects that the driver might be under the influence of alcohol, the driver might be subjected to various tests. Depending on the results of these tests, the driver could face a drunk driving charge.
The penalties for a DUI range and depend on the criminal background of the driver and the details of the charge against the driver. In some situations, the driver could face a felony. The penalties for a felony DUI are dependent on the felony class the driver is accused of committing.
According to New York law, if a driver’s blood alcohol content was 0.18 or higher, and it is his or her second offense in 10 years, the accused faces a class E felony. This means they could endure a mandatory fine of up to $5,000, a maximum of 4 years in jail and a license revocation for at least 10 months.
If the driver is facing a third DWI or aggravated DWI, this is considered a Class D felony. The consequences for this include a fine up to $10,000, up to 7 years in jail and a driver’s license revocation for at least one year. Three or more alcohol related conviction or refusals to take a blood alcohol test within 10 years could result in permanent revocation of the driver’s license.
The severity of multiple drunk driving convictions can be grave, which makes it especially important that drivers accused of a DWI understand the rights afforded to him or her and what defense options are available. A driver could present evidence that questions the reliability of a blood alcohol test or calls into question the steps taken by a police officer. This could ultimately lead to evidence being dismissed, helping the accused reduce or dismiss some or all of the charges they face.
Those facing a felony drunk driving charge should take the necessary steps to understand the charges against them and the possible penalties he or she could face. This could help defendants take appropriate steps to make a strong defense, helping them avoid harsh penalties.
Source: Dmv.ny.gov, “Penalties for alcohol or drug-related violations,” accessed July 13, 2015