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Penalties in New York for drunk driving

While consuming alcohol until one become intoxicated is not a crime for those of legal age, it is a crime when a person decides to get behind the wheel of a vehicle no matter his or her age. Being accused of drunk driving is not like being issued a speeding ticket. It means going through tests on the side of the road, being taken into custody, going through intake and being charged with a DUI. A DUI charge in the state of New York and elsewhere means facing penalties such as fines, license suspension and sometimes even jail time.

Intoxication is not based on the number of drinks but rather other individual factors. The accused could be considered intoxicated because of the amount of alcohol consumed, the amount of food consumed before and during the consumption of alcohol, the length of time they drank, their weight and their gender. Thus, a skinny female that drank 2 drinks in an hour on an empty stomach could be just as intoxicated as a large man that drank 5 drinks in an hour on a full stomach.

A person’s blood alcohol content or BAC helps establish whether a person is over the legal limit. For a drunk driving charge, this means 0.08 of higher. For commercial drivers, this threshold is reduced to 0.04. A BAC reading of 0.18 or higher could be charged with aggravated drunk driving. A first drunk driving charge in New York could result in a penalty of a fine ranging between $500-$1,000, up to a year in jail and six months of license suspension. For an aggravated drunk driving charge, this could cause a person to face a fine of $1,000-$2,500, up to a year in jail and a year license suspension.

The aftermath of a drunk driving charge can be significant. Being able to drive to work, school and other places is necessary in our daily life. Losing this privilege can cause issues and even the ability to maintain a job. Even more so, the penalties associated can be serious, making it important to consider defense methods that could help to reduce or avoid these consequences

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James L. Riotto
Criminal Defense Lawyer

James L. Riotto is an accomplished criminal defense attorney serving clients in New York. With an extensive background in law enforcement and criminal prosecution, his approach to each case is unique and informed by years of experience with the New York criminal justice system. As a graduate from Albany Law School and before going on to start his own practice, James worked at the Albany County District Attorney's Office, where he helped prosecute many DWI offenses. His inside knowledge of the tactics used to gain convictions provides him with a particular advantage when defending against DUI and other criminal charges.

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Adam D. Staier
Of Counsel

About Attorney Adam Staier has spent the last seven years practicing criminal defense law throughout upstate New York and the Capital Region. He began his legal career through internships in civil law, indigent legal representation and federal energy law regulation. Finding a passion in criminal law, Mr. Staier held internships handling both prosecution and defense…

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William M. Swift
Associate Attorney

About William M. Swift is an associate attorney at the Law Office of James L. Riotto and brings 20 years of experience to our clients. His practice focuses on personal injury cases and criminal matters. He has successfully represented individuals in felony, misdemeanor cases. Additionally, he has extensive knowledge in DMV administrative proceedings involving suspensions…

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