What is a DWI?
A DWI is a criminal offense that involves the operation of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Many states will have laws that differ on the definition of a DWI, but generally, a Blood Alcohol Concentration of .08 will be sufficient to establish a DWI.
How does alcohol affect the operation of a vehicle?
Although the BAC level will depend on a number of factors, including the size of person and type of alcohol consumed, there are some general benchmarks as to how the body responds at certain levels of intoxication.
.02 – altered judgment, relaxation that prevents the individual from multitasking
.05 – lack of focus, relaxation that causes a lack of alertness or coordination
.08 – heavily impaired judgment, memory loss, poor perception
.1 – heavily impaired thinking, difficulty keeping movements controlled
.15 – impaired thinking and judgment, physical illness, no coordination
Are certain alcohols safer to drink to avoid a DWI?
No. One should assume that every alcoholic beverage would impair them. Alcohol affects individuals in different ways, although it universally impacts judgments and muscle control. Different types of alcohol will have different concentrations of alcohol and one cannot readily estimate, even with typical benchmarks how high their BAC level will be after consuming alcohol. It is best to avoid alcohol altogether when driving, so as to ensure you do not receive a DWI.
What are typical penalties for a DWI?
A first DUI offense can carry penalties as severe as 30 months in jail, a fines ranging from $500 – $5,000 dollars and a one year license suspension. Some states may require additional fines paid to be paid into a DUI victim’s trust fund. These penalties escalate with each offense, with minimum jail time, and breathalyzer ignition locks on the violator’s car. States such as New York may impose stiffer penalties if there is a minor in the car while the driver is intoxicated. A good DWI lawyer is necessary in this case to lessen the more severe punishments and present a reasonable case for your innocence, or at least to lessen liability. Having DWI charges dismissed is a rarity and one should not expect this when going to court, unless there is clear cut evidence of police wrongdoing or a lack of admissible evidence.
Finding a DWI lawyer
When seeking a DUI/DWI lawyer, be sure of the circumstances surrounding the charges. You will need to present the police report and your account of the situation to the DUI/DWI lawyer. Only then can the DUI/DWI lawyer help you build a possible defense. At the very least, the DUI/DWI layer will be able to accompany you to your administrative hearing to serve as your advocate and circumnavigate potentially complicated DUI/DWI laws. If you do not request an administrative hearing, you may lose your license under state law, which is why you should consult a DUI/DWI lawyer before taking another action related to your case. Expect a DWI lawyer to charge a retainer fee, hourly fee or both, depending on your circumstances. Understand that these cases are not always successful and your DWI lawyer may have a difficult if not impossible time winning a favorable outcome based on your actions.