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Answers to DUI DWI FAQs From Our Leading Long Island DUI Defense Lawyer

888-DUI-LAWYER is your resource for practical advice and effective representation in the event of any Long Island drunk driving arrest. Below are answers to some of the questions our attorneys hear most often as we help people like you take control of their DUI case. If you have other questions, call 888-DUI-LAWYER for helpful answers and immediate assistance with a New York DUI arrest.

Is DWI a Misdemeanor or a Felony?

In most cases, Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) is a misdemeanor, but it can be charged as a felony in certain situations, such as if you have a previous conviction for DWI in the past ten years or if you had a child in the car who was 15 years of age or younger.

Is DWAI a Misdemeanor or a Felony?

Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI) is normally charged as a violation or infraction, which carries lesser penalties than a misdemeanor. Although a plea of guilty to DWAI does not result in a criminal conviction, it does go onto your DMV record for ten years and can even show up as a criminal record as well. Having a DWAI on your record can come back to haunt you if you are pulled over in the future. Also, DWAI can be charged as a misdemeanor in certain cases, so it is important to consult with an attorney before deciding how to plead to any DWAI charge.

What is the “Look Back” Period?

Penalties for conviction of DWI or DWAI increase for subsequent convictions. If you are arrested for DWI or DWAI, the prosecutor can “look back” at your record for the previous ten years for any prior convictions, in deciding how to charge you. This ten-year “look back” period is also sometimes called the “washout” period, because after ten years a prior offense “washes out” and is not considered when charging a subsequent offense.

What is an IID?

IID stands for Ignition Interlock Device. It is a device installed on your vehicle after conviction of DWI that requires you to blow into a breathalyzer-type device before starting the car. If the IID shows a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .025% or more, the car will not start. An IID may also be required if you are given a conditional discharge or probation. In any event, you will have to pay the installation and maintenance costs of the IID.

Can I Refuse to Take a Sobriety Test?

If you refuse to take a test of your BAC such as a blood test or breathalyzer when asked to by the police, you can face penalties for your refusal, including a one-year revocation of your driver’s license and a $500 fine. This is the only type of test you are required to take and that carries penalties for refusal. It is lawful to refuse to submit to so-called “field sobriety tests,” such as standing on one leg, walking a straight line heel-to-toe and turning, or following a pen across your field of vision. There may still be consequences to your refusal, however.

What is the Driver Responsibility Assessment?

If you are convicted of an alcohol-related offense or refuse to take a required chemical test, then the DMV will assess you a penalty of $250 per year for three years, on top of any other fines or fees that may be imposed by the court.

You have Nothing to Lose and Everything to Gain from Speaking with a DUI Lawyer!

Regardless of how you performed on chemical or field sobriety tests, or other factors which you feel work against you, it is always worthwhile to talk to an DUI attorney about the circumstances surrounding your DUI arrest. Call 888-DUI-LAWYER for a completely confidential and cost-free consultation of your case with an experienced and dedicated New York DUI lawyer. In addition, if you feel you have a substance abuse problem, visit Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration for help and treatment.

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© 2017 888 DUI Lawyer, Richard S. Jaffe, ESQ., Partner, Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP. All rights reserved.
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