DUI Charges in New York State: Key Steps and the Importance of a Drinking Driving Evaluation
Understanding the Charge
If you’re facing a DUI (Driving Under the Influence) charge in New York State, it’s crucial to understand the seriousness of the situation. DUI charges are not just traffic offenses; they are criminal charges that can have lasting impacts on your life. The legal limit for blood alcohol content (BAC) in New York is 0.08%, and exceeding this limit while driving can lead to severe consequences.
Seeking Legal Assistance
The first step after being charged is to seek legal representation. An experienced DUI attorney can provide invaluable guidance through the complex legal process. They can help you understand the charges, the potential penalties, and your legal rights. An attorney well-versed in New York’s DUI laws can also assess the strength of the evidence against you and may be able to negotiate lesser charges or penalties.
Importance of a Drinking Driving Evaluation
A crucial aspect of handling a DUI charge in New York is undergoing a Drinking Driving Evaluation. This evaluation is a comprehensive assessment conducted by a certified professional to determine the extent of your alcohol use and its impact on your driving.
Why is it Needed?
- Legal Requirement: In many cases, the court mandates a Drinking Driving Evaluation to assess whether alcohol dependency or misuse contributed to the offense.
- Sentencing Consideration: The results can influence sentencing. A report indicating a lower risk of reoffense might lead to more lenient sentencing.
- License Reinstatement: The evaluation is often a prerequisite for reinstating a suspended driver’s license.
How to Access a Drinking Driving Evaluation
- Court Referral: Often, the court handling your DUI case will refer you to a state-approved provider.
- Independent Search: You can also independently find a certified evaluator through New York State’s Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS) website.
- Healthcare Provider Referral: Your doctor or another healthcare provider can also refer you to a certified evaluator.
What to Expect During the Evaluation
- Personal Interview: This includes questions about your drinking habits, driving history, and the circumstances surrounding your DUI charge.
- Screening Tools: The evaluator may use standardized screening tools to assess alcohol misuse.
- Collateral Information: The evaluator might also review your medical, criminal, and driving records.
Completing Treatment Programs
Based on the evaluation, you might be recommended to complete a treatment program. These programs are designed to address alcohol misuse and improve driving behavior. Completion of such programs can positively impact your legal situation and is essential for personal rehabilitation.
Being charged with one of the following offenses in New York is a serious matter:
Driving While Intoxicated (DWI): .08 Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) or higher or other evidence of intoxication. For drivers of commercial motor vehicles: .04 BAC or other evidence of intoxication.
Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated (Aggravated DWI): .18 BAC or higher.
Driving While Ability Impaired by Alcohol (DWAI/Alcohol): more than .05 BAC but less than .07 BAC, or other evidence of impairment.
Driving While Ability Impaired by a Single Drug other than Alcohol (DWAI/Drug).
Driving While Ability Impaired by a Combined Influence of Drugs or Alcohol (DWAI/Combination).
Chemical Test Refusal: A driver who refuses to take a chemical test (normally a test of breath, blood or urine).
Zero Tolerance Law: A driver who is less than 21 years of age and who drives with a .02 BAC to .07 BAC violates the Zero Tolerance Law.
However, by securing an experienced attorney and undergoing a Drinking Driving Evaluation, you can navigate the legal system more effectively and take important steps towards addressing any underlying issues with alcohol use. Remember, the path to resolving such charges involves both legal and personal accountability. Remember not all providers are approved for court evaluations if you need a drinking driving evaluation done you can access the services directly at ABS Applied Behavioral Sciences whose clinicians are certified by the New York State unified court system, New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, New York State Office of alcohol and substance abuse services.ABS is one of the preferred providers for mental and behavioral health treatment in New York City with offices located throughout the five boroughs.