If you were pulled over by law enforcement officials in the state of New York, it is likely that you were asked to perform a Breathalyzer test at the scene. The results of this Breathalyzer test will have provided an estimated indication of whether your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was over the legal limit.
If your BAC was determined to be over .08 percent, you were technically driving unlawfully, and as a result, you will be accused of one of three drunk driving-related offenses. The offense that you will be accused of will depend on the level of intoxication and the circumstances relating to your accusation.
Driving while intoxicated (DWI)
A DWI tends to be considered a less serious charge relating to impaired driving in the state of New York; however, the consequences can still lead to heavy fines, license suspensions and jail time. You will be subject to a DWI if you have a BAC of between .08 and .18 percent.
If your BAC is found to be .18 percent or higher when you are pulled over for suspected drunk driving, you will be subject to an aggravated DWI charge. This charge carries with it much more severe penalties.
Driving while ability impaired (DWAI)
In the state of New York, you can still face penalties for impaired driving even if you are not over the legal alcohol limit. You may be subject to these penalties if you are found to have a BAC of between .05 and .07 percent.
It is important to take action to defend yourself if you have been accused of driving under the influence of alcohol in New York.