Should I Refuse or Submit to a DWI Chemical Test in Upstate New York? (Part II)

Everything has changed in regard to how to defend a person who has been arrested for DWI in Upstate New York State. It is absolutely critical that you to call a highly experienced DWI lawyer who is on top of all DWI laws.

BreathalyzerThe major deciding factor in advising a client who has just been arrested for DWI, whether to submit or refuse to take a chemical test, is just how drunk they are. This determination is usually made in the wee small hours of the morning over the telephone when the client calls a lawyer. Few intoxicated drivers will be completely candid with an attorney about the level of their intoxication or how much alcohol they have consumed. In fact, many drivers are unable to remember how much they drank. Frankly, this is not the type of conversation an attorney wants to have with their client when, in all probably, there is a police officer in the room with the client when he calls his lawyer.

This is a delicate situation which requires a highly competent DWI defense attorney to assess the level of intoxication by judging his client’s speech patterns. This is not the time to risk hiring an attorney who isn’t fully knowledgeable in the area of DWI defense. If the lawyer makes a mistake and advises the motorist to refuse the test, he subjects his client to the whole range of potential penalties mentioned in “(Part I)”.

So Why Not Just Advise the Motorist to Take the Test?

If the attorney advises the motorist to take the test and the results come in at a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.18, the charge would be elevated to Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated (ADWI). The elevated charge results in additional penalties, license sanctions, and fines, and has plea bargaining restrictions.

Recent amendments to the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law (VTL) restrict the prosecution from agreeing to a reduction of the misdemeanor Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated to a traffic infraction of Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI), which carries lesser license and fine penalties. The only reduction available to the District Attorney is a reduction from Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated to the misdemeanor of DWI. Indeed some District Attorneys have a policy of not authorizing a reduction of any kind for an original Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated.

The results of a plea bargain to a misdemeanor DWI subjects the motorist to the more severe penalties including the installation of an Ignition Interlock on any vehicle owned or operated by the motorist.

A DWI arrest in Upstate New York State can impact you for the rest of your life. Be sure to call a highly respected and immensely qualified DWI defense lawyer.

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