Misdemeanor DWI Charges

If you are arrested for Driving While Intoxicated, you may lose your car and your license before you are ever convicted. If convicted, you face possible incarceration (even for first time offenders), probation, alcohol treatment, alcohol monitoring, a permanent criminal record, fines, fees, immigration consequences, and further license revocation. Take immediate action. Call 212-619-3900 to schedule a consultation .

The charges. During your arrest, the arresting officer will fill out an arrest report and related information which will recommend certain charges to the District Attorney. This is only a recommendation because the District Attorney can add additional charges and / or dismiss some or all of the charges. After the arrest report is sent to the DA, your case may be filed in criminal court. The following are some of the most common DWI charges we see in misdemeanor DWI cases.

VTL 1192.2.

This charge is one of the most common charges, seen where there is a chemical test which says your blood alcohol level (BAC) is 0.08 or greater. This law reads as follows:

“Operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Driving while intoxicated; per se. No person shall operate a motor vehicle while such person has .08 of one per centum or more by weight of alcohol in the person's blood as shown by chemical analysis of such person's blood, breath, urine or saliva, made pursuant to the provisions of section eleven hundred ninety-four of this article.”

VTL 1192.2a

This charge applies when your BAC is allegedly 0.18 or greater. It reads as follows:

AGGRAVATED DWI .18 OF 1% OR MORE ALCOHOL IN BLOOD
1192. Operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. 2-a(a). Aggravated driving while intoxicated; per se.
No person shall operate a motor vehicle while such person has .18 of one per centum or more by weight of alcohol in such person's blood as shown by chemical analysis of such person's blood, breath, urine or saliva made pursuant to the provisions of section eleven hundred ninety-four of this article.”

VTL 1192.3

This charge applies when you are allegedly intoxicated based on the arresting (or other) officer's observations. It can be charged even in the absence of a definitive BAC. This section, more than the above two, depends greatly on the circumstances of your case. As you read the charge, note the simplicity of the language and therefore the danger of misuse. (Call us at 212-619-3900 to discuss whether you were properly charged.) It reads as follows:

DRIVING WHILE INTOXICATED
Operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Driving while intoxicated. No person shall operate a motor vehicle while in an intoxicated condition.”

VTL 1192.1

This section is a traffic infraction, but it still carries the possibility of incarceration and other consequences. It is also easier for the State of New York to charge because you do not have to have at least a 0.08 BAC to be guilty. Instead, you only need to be “impaired” which is very subjective but debatable. (Call us at 212-619-3900 to discuss whether you were properly charged.) This section reads as follows:

DRIVING WHILE ABILITY IMPAIRED BY THE CONSUMPTION OF ALCOHOL
Operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Driving while ability impaired. No person shall operate a motor vehicle while the person's ability to operate such motor vehicle is impaired by the consumption of alcohol.

VTL 1192.4

Were you allegedly driving while under the influence of something other than alcohol? If so, that may explain being charged with this section which is sometimes referred to as ‘driving while high.’ One of the challenges to the government is proving that you were actually under the influence. This is because the intoxilyzer does not measure substances other than alcohol so accurate testing for non-alcoholic substances is challenging for the police. This section reads as follows:

OPERATING MOTOR VEHICLE IMPAIRED BY DRUGS
Operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Driving while ability impaired by drugs. No person shall operate a motor vehicle while the person's ability to operate such a motor vehicle is impaired by the use of a drug as defined in this chapter.”

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