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NY Vehicle and Traffic Law 1192.1: Driving While Intoxicated and Ability Impaired

New York has some of the most serious DWI crimes on the books. In fact, New York’s DUI laws range from violations and misdemeanors to the most serious felonies. Upon conviction of any drunk driving crime found in New York Vehicle and Traffic Law 1192, you will not only be saddled with a lifelong criminal record, tremendous insurance premium hits, the suspension or revocation of your license and fines, but the installation of an ignition interlock device on your car, truck or other automobile. Simply, every crime demands attention, but an arrest for DWI or DUI mandates your retention of experienced legal counsel and a New York DWI attorney.

Despite the fact that DWI – Driving While Intoxicated – is a crime in violation of VTL 1192.2 or VTL 1192.3, you can also be charged with a non-criminal offense by itself or as a lesser included offense of one of these crimes. VTL 1192.1, Driving While Ability Impaired, is a violation. According to the jury instructions read by judges in criminal prosecutions, outside of the critical element of operation, you are deemed impaired by the consumption of alcohol when:

“…[T]hat person’s consumption of alcohol has actually impaired, to any extent, the physical and mental abilities which such person is expected to possess in order to operate a vehicle as a reasonable and prudent driver.” Keep in mind, unlike VTL 1192.2, the law does not require any particular chemical or physical test to prove that a person’s ability to operate a motor vehicle was impaired by the consumption of alcohol.

Despite the State of New York not requiring prosecutors to prove a particular BAC beyond a reasonable doubt, there are some presumptions associated with VTL 1192 that your DWI lawyer can use in his or her defense of your arrest or he or she must be prepared to answer to combat the prosecution’s case. According to VTL 1195(2)(a), if you register a BAC of .05 or lower, such a reading is prima facie evidence that you were not impaired as a matter of law for DWAI. Further, if you “blow” between a .05 and less than a .07, VTL 1195(2)(b) dictates that such BAC is prima facie evidence you were not intoxicated for the purpose of DWI, but could still be considered impaired as it relates to a DWAI offense. Lastly, but equally important, VTL 1195(2)(c) codifies the standard that if you blow below a .08 that evidence based solely on your blood alcohol level is prima facie confirmation that you were not intoxicated. Once you hit the .08 threshold or higher…all bets are off…

Although the DWI felonies and misdemeanors in VTL 1192 are not addressed here, they are available above, keep in mind that even an infraction would be problematic to you career and future. Not only does a DWAI, NY VTL 1192.1, stay on your DMV and criminal record (even though it is not criminal), you can face up to fifteen days in jail, a $500 fine, $250 license assessment for three years and a ninety day suspension of your license.

Whether you are only arrested for and charged with VTL 1192.1, you are standing trial for the lesser offense of Driving While Ability Impaired, or you are charged with any of the misdemeanor or felony DWI crimes in New York, make sure you are prepared with evidence and armed with the ability to confront the allegations. The alternative is a conviction that will follow your driving and criminal record for not merely weeks or years, but for eternity.

Call our New York criminal defense attorneys and former Manhattan prosecutors at (212) 312-7129 or contact us online today.

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