New York Third-Offense DWI Lawyer

Being convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a regrettable event that hopefully marks a turning point in an individual's life from which they never again engage in conduct which could even lead to a suspicion of re-offense.

Because multiple drunk driving episodes are considered so serious in the eyes of legislators in this state, the penalties for a second, and especially a third DWI within ten years are indeed harsh. If you are facing such allegations, a New York third-offense DWI lawyer stands ready to fight for your future. Contact a qualified DWAI attorney and know that you are in capable hands.

New York Drunk Driving Basics

While many people are familiar with the acronym DUI in the context of impaired driving offenses, in New York, such conduct is formally referred to as DWI/driving while intoxicated or DWAI/driving while ability impaired. Though each of these offense categories is related to one another, the sanctions they can yield vary, sometimes substantially.

New York Vehicle and Traffic Law §1192 provides that a driver may be found guilty of operating while intoxicated when their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) registers at least .08 percent or if they are found to be impaired to a substantial extent while behind the wheel.

Aggravated DWI charges can issue if a driver's BAC is .18 percent or higher or they have been observed driving while impaired and have a passenger in the car who is under the age of 15.

Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI)

Driving while ability impaired (DWAI) by alcohol is often a lesser included charge in DWI matters. It is easier for prosecutors to establish guilt on such a charge, as the relevant standard involves examination of whether a motorist's ability to operate a car as a reasonable and prudent vehicle driver was impaired to any extent.

Though some may believe conviction of DWAI is less serious than if the charge had been DWI, there can still be significant ramifications in the case of repeat drunk driving offenders.

Stringent Penalties for Third DWI Convictions

It is crucial for those accused of a third offense in the DWI category to understand that the implications of conviction are profound. Such a crime is regularly charged as a Class D felony, which has the potential to bring prison terms lasting upwards of seven years and fines and costs that may exceed $10,000.

Individuals found guilty of a third offense related to alcohol or drug-impaired driving within the same decade can also expect five years of probationary supervision and license revocation of up to 18 months.

Those whose third drunk driving conviction comes within five years of the prior two can anticipate sentences that include the consequences outlined above in addition to a mandatory 10-day stay in jail and ignition interlock installation requirements. It must be noted that when calculating prior offenses for possible elevation to a felony charge, previous DWAI convictions will count toward the total.

Administrative Hurdles Following Impaired Driving Convictions

Relatively recent regulations issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles make it even more difficult for those with multiple impaired driving offenses to retain a driver's license or seek reinstatement of their privileges.

For instance, individuals with three or four such convictions within a 25-year span who also have a serious driving offense on their record will be denied a license permanently, unless extenuating or compelling circumstances exist. Clearly, an aggressive legal defense strategy is necessary in order to prevent such far-reaching consequences from taking hold.

Long-Term Effects of Multiple Drunk Driving Convictions

The formal sanctions imposed on those found guilty of multiple DWI/DWAI offenses are bad enough, but the ancillary impact of having a criminal record of this sort can be even more devastating. The negative by-products can include:

  • Suspension or revocation of professional licenses
  • Job loss/demotion
  • Lost security clearances required for employment
  • Exorbitant increases in insurance premiums
  • Damage to immigration status
  • Harm to personal reputation and community standing

The guidance of an experienced third-offense DWI attorney often represents a defendant's best opportunity to mitigate the harm and potentially achieve dismissal of charges in some instances.

How a New York Third-Offense DWI Attorney Can Help

Given the personal and professional calamity a third DWI conviction can represent, it is vital for defendants to keep in mind that they have the right to mount a vigorous defense. Effective strategies designed to counteract the prosecution's case may indeed exist, and that is why a prompt consultation with a New York third-offense DWI lawyer can be truly invaluable in achieving a favorable outcome.