A DWI conviction comes with serious consequences and may even effect an individual’s employment. In one example, CBS News reports that an upstate New York ice cream truck driver recently lost his job after being arrested for DWI.
Police report that the man was arrested after allegedly driving his ice cream truck into oncoming traffic. A sheriff’s deputy followed the man, claiming that he saw the man swerve into traffic and nearly collide with the deputy’s vehicle.
The man cooperated with police and voluntarily consented to field sobriety tests. He was arrested and charged with DWI after registering a .15 blood alcohol concentration. The man’s employer later confirmed that he fired the driver as a result of the incident.
Serious penalties for DWI
Loss of employment happens to be a residual effect of the DWI charge in this case. But, there are some real criminal consequences that may result from a DWI conviction. According to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, an initial DWI conviction comes with the following penalties:
- A fine of up to $1,000
- A minimum license revocation of six months
- Potential jail time of up to one year
Penalties increase with subsequent offenses. An individual convicted of a third offense or higher within 10 years may face fines of up to $10,000 and could receive up to seven years in prison.
An individual convicted of a DUI is also required to install an ignition interlock device. An IID connects to a vehicle’s ignition system and measures the amount of alcohol detected on a driver’s breath. If the amount is over an established limit, the vehicle will not start. An individual convicted of a DWI is responsible for the cost of installing and maintaining an IID.
Individuals face a high chance of being pulled over for a DWI
The chances of being pulled over by police on suspicion of a
DWI are quite high. New York State currently enforces what is known as a STOP-DWI law. Under this law, the money from DWI fines is provided to counties to use for DWI enforcement and prosecution efforts. This means that there are more police on the roads seeking out potentially impaired drivers. It also means an increase in the prosecution of DWI cases.
An individual who is stopped by the police for a suspected DWI will likely be required to undergo a field sobriety test, typically a breath test. A chemical test may also be required upon arrest. The tests measure an individual’s blood alcohol content, which refers to the level of alcohol present in an individual’s blood.
An individual may refuse to take a breath or chemical test. However, this may result in increased penalties and a driver’s license revocation period for one year.
The importance of a strong criminal defense
Due to the substantial penalties involved, an individual facing DWI charges could benefit by speaking with an experienced DWI attorney. A knowledgeable attorney can advise an individual on all available options and provide a skilled criminal defense to help mitigate the potentially negative consequences.