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DWI & DUI Laws in NYC

New York City DWI Lawyer

Facing Charges? Contact Gannes & Musico, LLP

DWI is a criminal offense that involves operating a motor vehicle with unlawful amounts of alcohol in one's system. A driver may also face DWI charges for driving while "under the influence" of alcohol or a controlled substance, which means that his or her physical or mental abilities are impaired because of alcohol or drug use (regardless of the particular level of alcohol in the driver's breath or blood).

Our New York criminal defense lawyers have helped thousands of clients. Call (877) 803-2603 today!

The Difference Between DUI & DWI

Before legally appearing court to challenge the allegations that have been made against you, there are many steps you will be expected to take, the most important being those to understand the criminal charges you are facing. In New York, DUI and DWI are commonly used interchangeably.

However, legally speaking, the two acronyms actually represent two different offenses:

  • DUI (driving under the influence) is used to describe the offense of driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or both.
  • DWI (driving while intoxicated) is used to describe the offense of driving while intoxicated of alcohol. A DWI charge carries with it no implication of drug use.

In some cases, you could even incur a DWAI (driving while ability impaired [by alcohol]). This is a charge often issued to persons who have been caught driving while intoxicated with a BAC (blood alcohol content) of less than the standard .08% that is normally required to warrant a DWI arrest. Persons with a BAC between .05% and .07%, as well as those who show other evidential signs of impairment, are subject to being charged with a DWAI.

DWI Penalties

The DWI / DUI penalty system was designed specifically to encourage those drivers who have already received one offense of this nature to stray from ever doing so again.

As such, the penalties for each additional offense become increasingly harsher:

  • First DWI Offense: Your first DWI offense will be categorized as a misdemeanor offense and punished by fines between $500 and $1,000. Up to a year may be spent in jail and for no less than six months your license will be officially revoked.
  • Second DWI Offense: A second DWI offense that is accursed within a ten-year timespan will be charged as a felony. No less than $1,000 and up to $5,000 in fines will be expected of you. In addition, you are subject to up to four years of prison time and a minimum one-year license revocation.
  • Third DWI Offense: Being arrested for a third DWI offense within ten years is a felony that will be punished by fines of at least $2,000 all the way up to $10,000. Up to seven years may be spent in jail and your license will be under revocation for a minimum of one year.


In addition, your fines will include mandatory conviction surcharges, as well as a crime victims' assistance fee. These costs alone could total hundreds of dollars. Assuming your second or third DWI convictions occur within a five-year period, the penalties of a conviction will be even harsher, regardless of whether or not there was a crash, injuries or fatalities involved.

Contact a New York City DUI Lawyer Today!

If you took a breath or blood test and failed, you may feel as though there is no way of avoiding a conviction. This is simply not the case! By thoroughly investigating all aspects of your arrest, the initial police stop, field sobriety testing and your breath test or blood test, a DWI lawyer can determine whether law enforcement may have made a mistake or violated your rights in any way.

These situations may result in lessened charges, an acquittal in court or possibly dropped DWI/DUI charges altogether. Every case is different, so it is crucial to discuss your unique situation with a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney at Gannes & Musico, LLP.

Contact a New York DWI attorney today to learn more.

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Have you received a traffic ticket in New York? Contact Gannes & Musico, LLP at (877) 803-2603

Our dedicated NYC traffic ticket attorneys offer personalized legal counsel.

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