Queens DWI Defense Lawyers


Despite the public awareness of the dangers of drunk driving, good people make mistakes and get behind the wheel after drinking. Driving while intoxicated (DWI or DUI) is a serious offense in New York, however, and a conviction can result in severe penalties, including fines, license suspension, and potential jail time. If you have been arrested for driving while intoxicated, it is imperative to consult an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Conveniently located in Flushing, New York, Heiferman and Associates, PLLC routinely handles DWI/DWAI cases throughout the greater New York area, including , New York, Brooklyn, Queens, and Nassau and Suffolk Counties. Whether you have been charged with a first DWI offense or have prior DWI convictions, we will provide you with aggressive and efficient legal representation and work tirelessly to protect your driving privileges.

Drunk Driving Laws in New York

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), alcohol-impaired driving accidents account for 29 percent of all traffic fatalities in the U.S. As such, all 50 states make it illegal to drive with a blood alcohol (BAC) of 0.8 percent or higher, which is the legal definition of DWI in New York — a misdemeanor offense. Moreover, the BAC limit for commercial drivers is 0.4 percent, while being arrested for driving with a BAC of .18 or higher will result in an Aggravated DWI charge.

It is worth noting that you can also be charged with DWI based on observations by the police, such as the odor of alcohol on you or an open container in plain sight in the vehicle. Additionally, there is zero tolerance for DWI by minors — the BAC limit for individuals under the age of 21 is 0.2.

DWAI charges apply to driving with a BAC level of 0.5 to 0.7 percent or with any amount of alcohol in your system that impairs your ability to drive. While DWAI–Alcohol is considered a traffic infraction — a less serious offense than DWI — driving while ability impaired by a single drug (DWAI — Drug) or the combined influence of drugs and alcohol (DWAI — Combined Influence) are criminal offenses.

DWI/DWAI Penalties in New York

The penalties for DWI/DWAI in New York depend on factors such as your BAC level and whether you have previously been convicted of a drunk driving offense.

A first offense DWAI, for example, is punishable by:

  • A fine of up to $500, up to 15 days in jail, or both
  • 90-day driver’s license suspension
  • A mandatory state surcharge of $260
  • A 3-year driver responsibility assessment of $250

DWAI-Drugs, on the other hand, is a misdemeanor offense that can result in:

  • A fine up to $1000, up to 1 year in jail, or both
  • Driver’s license revocation of at least 6 months
  • A mandatory state surcharge of $400
  • 3 years probation

DWI is also a misdemeanor in New York, punishable by:

  • A fine up $1,000, up to 1 year in jail, or both
  • Driver’s license revocation of at least 6 months
  • A mandatory state surcharge of $400
  • A 3-year driver responsibility assessment
  • Mandatory installation of an Ignition Interlock device for no less than 6 months

The fact that you have been charged with DWI/DWAI does not mean that you will automatically be convicted, however. At Heiferman and Associates, PLLC, our experience on both sides of the courtroom allows to successfully defend clients against DWI charges in New York.

Leandra’s Law (Drunk Driving with a Minor)

A parent or guardian who is arrested for DWI while traveling with a passenger 15 years of age or younger will be charged with Aggravated DWI with a Child Passenger, regardless of whether it is a first offense. This is a felony offense, punishable by fines between $1000 and $5,000 and up to 4 years in prison; the charges are elevated if a child passenger is injured or killed in an accident caused by DWI.

What is the implied consent rule?

In New York, anyone who receives a driver’s license is subject to the state’s implied consent rule. This means you have agreed to a blood, urine, or breath test of your BAC when asked to do so by law enforcement. If you refuse to submit to a chemical test, within 15 days of your arrest, the Department of Motor Vehicles will schedule a Refusal Hearing, which is an administrative proceeding separate and apart from the criminal proceeding. Your license will be automatically suspended until the hearing date, and you face the potential of a 1-year license revocation. The best way to protect your driving privileges is to have an experienced DWI/DUI attorney represent you at the Refusal Hearing.

Contact Our Queens, New York DWI Defense Attorneys

Given the consequences of a conviction for DWI/DWAI in New York, not the least of which is having a permanent criminal record, it is imperative to have aggressive legal representation. The experienced DWI defense attorneys at Heiferman and Associates, PLLC routinely represent clients in DMV administrative proceedings and in court and have the skills to protect your driving privileges.

By obtaining and reviewing the police reports and the results of any chemical or field sobriety tests, we will determine whether the police had reasonable cause to make an arrest, or whether the results of any breathalyzer test were skewed. Knowing that driving in New York is a necessity if not a way of life, we will do everything in our power to win an acquittal or to have the charges and penalties reduced. If you have been charged with DWI/DWAI in New York City, Brooklyn, Queens or Long Island, contact our office today to set up a free consultation.

Heiferman & Associates, PLLC  criminal defense attorneys handle DWI cases throughout New York City (Manhattan), Queens ( including Astoria, Bayside, Flushing and Forest Hills), Brooklyn and Long Island (Nassau & Suffolk Counties).