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September 11, 2010

New York’s New Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) Laws

By Michael H. Joseph

In the last year the New York DWI laws have become much more stringent and New York DWI lawyers must be keep up to date on these recent changes. For example, the new Aggravated driving while intoxicated prohobits the operatation of a motor vehicle while such person has .18 of one per centum or more by weight of alcohol in such person’s blood. This is .02 higher than double the normal DWI limit. These new DWI laws in New York have stiffer penalites and limit the plea bargains that can be offered.

The New York DWI laws prohibit the reduction of an aggravated DWI charge to anything below a DWI charge. In other words, it cannot except for unusual circumstances be reduced below a misdemeanor to a driving while ability impaired, which is a violation.

The new DWI laws in New York now prohibit driving while intoxicated with a child in the vehicle. Specifically, the law prohibits driving while intoxicated while a child who is fifteen years of age or less is a passenger in the vehicle. This new DWI law makes driving while intoxicated with a child a class E felony, with a mandatory fine of $1,000. These new laws have been frustrating for New York criminal defense attorneys because it makes felons out of first offenders and makes the consequences of losing much greater. The prosecutors in Westchester county have been refusing to reduce these DWI with child to misdemeanors. But the good news is our White Plains DWI atttorneys have been able to avoid jail and sometimes even probation on first offender cases.

Effective August 15, 2010, the amended New York DWI laws require the New York Criminal Courts to require any person who has been convicted of a violation of DWI crime (except the violation of driving while ability impaired) to install and maintain, as a condition of probation or conditional discharge, a functioning ignition interlock device. New York DWI lawyers must advise their clients of the new requirements prior to taking a plea bargain. These new DWI laws also requires the Court to notify D.M.V. of the interlock requirement and DMV will then note the interlock condition on the driver’s operating record.

New York DWI lawyers must also advise their clients, who have been sentenced to interlock devices that driving a vehicle without a device is a misdemeanor and will subject the driver to more criminal charges. New York criminal defense attorneys must properly advise their clients of all of these requirements to avoid the potential for further charges.

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