The U.S. problem with drunk driving began shortly after the invention of motorized vehicles. State and federal governments made laws to deter people from taking the wheel after consuming too much alcohol.
Many continued to break the rules, leading to the creation of even more drunk driving statutes. By the 21st century, New York and other states had aggravated driving while intoxicated (DWI) laws added to their code.
What makes a DWI aggravated?
As you may know, a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) measurement of 0.08% or higher leads to regular DWI charges. When someone’s BAC measures extremely high (at least 0.18% in New York), they will likely face aggravated DWI charges.
What are the consequences of aggravated charges?
Those convicted of aggravated DWI can face several possible penalties, such as loss of driving privileges, costly fines and incarceration. In general, here’s what a conviction can bring:
- First aggravated DWI offense: Up to $2,500 in fines, license revocation for a year or more and up to one year of imprisonment
- Second offense within ten years: Up to $5,000 in fines, license revocation for 18 months or more and up to four years of jail time
- Third offense within ten years: Up to $10,000 in fines, license revocation for 18 months or more and up to seven years of imprisonment
Second and subsequent arrests for aggravated DWI are typically charged as felonies in New York, putting an indelible mark on your record.
It may seem hopeless, but you can prevail against regular and aggravated DWI charges. With experienced guidance, you create an effective defense against your charges. Many defendants have found success by uncovering procedural or administrative errors on the part of law enforcement officers.