In New York State, driving with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of .08 or above constitutes Driving While Intoxicated. In November of 2006, our legislature implemented a new law which created the charge of Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated in New York, which is defined as operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content of .18 or above. The question to be discussed in this article is "If my BAC is above the .08 minimum for a DWI, but below the .18 to be charged with an Aggravated DWI, what are my chances of getting the reduced charge of a New York DWAI? (Driving While Ability Impaired).
The answer is that the eligibility for a reduction to the lesser charge of DWAI, which is a violation, not a misdemeanor like the DWI (and which results in only a 90 day suspension of your license rather than a 6 month revocation) depends on the County where you were charged. For example, in Westchester County, if you have a BAC of .14 or above, it is very unlikely if not impossible that you will have a chance to get the reduced charge of DWAI. There is a little more flexibility in Putnam County, and at The Law Office Of Mark A. Siesel in White Plains, New York, we have had clients who we were able to get a DWAI with a higher BAC than .14 in Putnam County, assuming that there was no property damage, no one was injured, and this was their first offense.
In many of the boroughs such as Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn, if your BAC is .13 or higher, you are not likely to get a reduced charge and are facing a New York DWI. In Nassau County, the policies are even more strict, and a blood alcohol content of .12 and above will likely prevent a reduced charge.