Drinking & Driving

DRINKING & DRIVING IN THE STATE OF NEW YORK

The State of New York has some of the strictest drinking and driving laws in the entire country. For example, a driver pulled over in Binghamton, Vestal, Johnson City, Endicott or any other part of the Southern Tier can be arrested for Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated (ADWI), Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI) and many other offenses for which the driver can anticipate the immediate suspension of his or her driving privileges at the very first court appearance. But that isn’t all. Here in the Southern Tier an intoxicated or impaired driver can also end up facing heavy fines and surcharges, higher insurance premiums, an additional license suspension or revocation, court monitored probation and even a lengthy period of incarceration. Here in the Greater Binghamton area, the courts will also usually require a convicted driver to take part in a Victim’s Impact Panel and enroll in the Impaired Driver Program (IDP) which is a series of classes administered by the Department of Motor Vehicles. Finally, in this part of New York, virtually all defendants convicted of an alcohol related driving offense are required to install costly and embarrassing ignition interlock devices (IID) in all vehicles which they own or operate.

DRUG & ALCOHOL RELATED DRIVING OFFENSES

DWI
     BAC of 0.08% or more
ADWI
     BAC of 0.18% or more
DWI/Child
     BAC of 0.08% or more or drug impairment with a child under 16 years of age in the vehicle
DWAI/Alcohol
     BAC of 0.05% to 0.07%
DWAI/Drug
     Drug impairment
DWAI/Combination
     Combination of drug and alcohol impairment
Chemical Test Refusal
     Refusal to take a chemical test (e.g. breath, blood, urine)
Zero Tolerance Law
     Driver under 21 years of age with BAC of 0.02% to 0.07%

BAC: Blood Alcohol Content

OTHER POTENTIAL CONSEQUENCES

In addition to the heavy fines, surcharges and other court imposed penalties one faces in these kind of situations, a conviction for a DWI, ADWI or DWAI on your permanent record can have a huge impact on your ability to obtain or keep certain kinds of employment. And it gets a lot worse if you end up being convicted more than once over a 10 year period. In fact, in the State of New York, if you take three or more convictions for any alcohol or drug related driving offenses over a 25 year period, it can result in a lifetime ban of your driving privileges.

WHAT WE CAN DO TO LIMIT THE POTENTIAL CONSEQUENCES

* Conduct a thorough investigation, analyze the facts and review the most recent case law to determine whether it was even legal for the police to stop your vehicle;
* Determine whether the breathalyzer reading or other chemical test result should be inadmissible in court based upon the particular circumstances involved;
* Scrutinize the manner in which the officer conducted the field sobriety tests to determine if he or she broke any rules when you were taking those tests;
* Identify any legally valid reasons why the prompt suspension of your driving privileges at the arraignment would impose an undue hardship and make specific arguments for why you should be able to retain some limited driving privileges until the case has been resolved; and
* Maintain frequent communication with the Court and the District Attorney’s Office while presenting favorable evidence of your innocence which the police often overlook in these kind of cases.

WHY WE DO IT

Sometimes bad things happen to good people. No one knows why. It’s just one of the mysteries of the universe. It doesn’t mean that you’re a bad person. It just means that the police say you made a mistake. There’s nothing to be ashamed of. It can happen to anyone. And when it does, the DWI attorneys at Levene Gouldin & Thompson are here to help. We understand that the stakes are high in these kind of cases and we know what it takes to get the job done. Indeed, we’ve been doing this kind of work for a long time and we take great pride in securing the best possible outcome that we can for our clients. Why? Because we know how important a good defense is in these kinds of cases and because many times we discover that the police are the ones who actually made the mistake.
If you’ve been charged with a drug or alcohol related driving offense in the Greater Binghamton area don’t wait. Contact attorney Kevin Williams at Levene Gouldin & Thompson. He’s the chair of our Criminal Defense Practice Group and he can be reached at (607) 763-9200.

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