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What’s The Difference Between DWI And DWAI In New York?

Like other states, New York law establishes .08% blood alcohol content as the standard rate by which it can allege that a driver was drunk and therefore was operating a vehicle illegally on New York roads.

But many drivers are demonstrably impaired in their ability to operate a car even when their BAC is beneath the limit.

To address this discrepancy, New York developed an offense called Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI).

DWAI is a traffic violation, not a criminal charge, but if your blood alcohol is measured between .05 and .07%, you can be charged with DWAI, and the state will only have to prove that you were too impaired to safely operate the vehicle in order to impose up to 15 days in jail, fines, and a 90 day license suspension.

Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) is the more commonly known version of “drunk driving” charges, and is a criminal infraction carrying a penalty of up to a year in jail, probation, revocation of your driver’s license, and other penalties, plus the burden of having a criminal record for the rest of your life.

If you’ve been charged with any form of drunk driving, it’s important to treat the matter with the seriousness it deserves.

Fighting back early can make your future much easier, and save you large sums of time and money.

Call the attorneys at Zelenitz, Shapiro & D’Agostino today at 718-599-1111 for a free consultation with a Queens DWI/DWAI attorney.