Protecting Your Rights & Freedom in Tompkins County
Are you facing charges for DUI in Ithaca? Turn to The Law Office of Charles H. Kee for skilled legal representation. As a former prosecutor, Charles H. Kee understands what it takes to be successful in court against all types of DUI charges. When you work with our firm, you can be confident your best interests are being represented throughout the entirety of your case. We are committed to being fierce advocates on your behalf so that you can avoid fines, stay out of jail, and remain on the road.
Call (607) 800-5356 or contact us online to begin working with an experienced DUI lawyer in Ithaca.
DUI stands for “driving under the influence.” While the terms DUI and DWI may seem interchangeable, in New York there are very distinct differences between the two. DWI (driving while intoxicated) specifically relates to those who operate a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol. On the other hand, DUI is a term that encompasses any case where the driver is impaired by a mind-altering substance – not only alcohol, but various drugs, including marijuana, heroin, some prescription drugs, and more. DWIs, then, are technically a type of DUI.
In New York, persons can be charged with a DUI even if they are not driving their vehicle. If you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you are liable for a DUI even if you turn on your vehicle’s engine and have no intention of driving.
Types of DUI Violations in New York
In the simplest terms, driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a crime. However, there is a range of DUI charges you could face, depending on the specifics of your case.
The potential DUI charges in New York include:
- DWI – when a motorist is driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or higher or shows evidence of being intoxicated
- Aggravated DWI – when a driver has a BAC of .18% or higher
- DWAI/Alcohol – driving while ability impaired by alcohol charges can arise when the driver’s BAC is between .05% and .07% or when there is evidence of impairment
- DWAI/Drug – driving while one’s ability is impaired by a single drug other than alcohol
- DWAI/Combination – driving while one’s ability is impaired by a combined influence of drugs or alcohol
- Chemical Test Refusal – when a driver refuses to take a chemical test, whether by breath, blood, urine, or saliva
- Zero Tolerance Law – when a driver who is under the age of 21 has a BAC of .02% to .07%
New York’s Implied Consent Law
All drivers in New York are required to submit a breath, blood, urine, or saliva test when requested by an officer who has reasonable grounds to believe the motorist has violated DUI laws. Refusing to partake in the test can result in license suspension for 1 year to 1.5 years, as well as a civil penalty of $500 to $750.
Penalties for DUI in New York
The reason it’s important to defend against DUI charges in Ithaca is the stiff penalties that can result from a conviction. To begin with, the court will suspend the license of any driver who had a BAC of .08% or higher at the time of the arrest. License suspension will also result if the person is charged with DWI per se, DWI, DWAI/Drug, or DWAI/Combination and has a prior DUI conviction within the past 5 years. This suspension begins at the arraignment and continues for the duration of the criminal prosecution.
If convicted, the defendant will also face a range of penalties, from fines and jail time to license suspension and ignition interlock device installation. The specific penalties you could encounter depend on the severity of the crime and the number of previous convictions. A first-time DWI conviction, for example, will incur less severe penalties than a second or third offense DWI.
The Law Office of Charles H. Kee is ready to help you build a strong defense. Call (607) 800-5356 now to schedule a free consultation with an Ithaca DUI attorney.
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