New York State DWI Laws
There are six different offenses codified in New York State for driving while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs:
1. Driving While Ability Impaired by alcohol
A person is guilty of this offense when they operate a motor vehicle on a public highway after consuming alcohol and the consumption of alcohol renders them “impaired, to any extent, the physical and mental abilities which (s)he is expected to possess in order to operate a motor vehicle as a reasonable and prudent driver.” People v. Cruz, 48 N.Y.2d 419, 423 N.Y.S.2d 625 (1979). driving while impaired is not considered a crime under New York State Law.
2. Driving While Intoxicated Per Se
This offense is committed where an individual operates a motor vehicle on a public highway with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (“BAC”) os .08% or more. This offense is a misdemeanor and a conviction would lead to a permanent criminal record in most circumstances.
3. Driving While Intoxicated (common law)
This offense for driving under the influence of alcohol can be charged even where there is no evidence of BAC percentage. The charge is almost always part of a DWI case. The statute requires proof that the motorist has consumed alcohol to the extent that he or she is “incapable of of employing the physical and mental abilities which (s)he is expected to possess in order to operate a motor vehicle as a reasonable and prudent driver.” People v. Cruz, 48 N.Y.2d 419, 423 N.Y.S.2d 625 1979).
4. Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated
This offense is committed when an individual operates a motor vehicle with .18% or more BAC or operates a motor vehicle in violation of VTL 1192(2), (3), (4) or (4a) with a Chile under the age of 16 in the car.
5. Driving While Impaired by Drugs
The same standard applies as applies to Driving While Intoxicated Per Se except drugs is substituted for alcohol. The drug(s) that cause impairment can even be legally possessed drugs prescribed by a doctor. Even if a medicine is properly prescribed and ingested it still could render someone “Impaired” and thus, subject to criminal penalties.
6. Driving While Impaired by the Combined Influence or of alcohol and any Drug(s)
The standard is again the same as DWI and DWAI by drugs (see #3 above).
New York DWI laws are complex. If you or a loved one is charged with a driving while intoxicated or driving while impaired charge, you must hire an experienced and skilled DWI lawyer for the best possible defense.