Interviewer: .08 is the limit. How about if you’re in the higher end of the DAC level? Is there an aggravated level or a super drunk level?
Ben: There is an Aggravated DWI charge and that is a felony. That charge will apply if your blood alcohol level is above a certain level.
Interviewer: Would the Aggravated DWI charge entail more severe penalties?
Ben: Yes, it is a more serious charge. You would be subject to a longer jail term and instead of a misdemeanor level charge, it can be a felony level charge.
Penalties for a First Offense DWI Include a Possible Jail Sentence
Interviewer: What are the standard possible penalties for a first time DWI if you blow a .08 or a little bit higher?
Ben: The standard is, if you’re convicted, the most extreme you can face is a year in jail and license suspension, for up to a year I believe. If you work out some kind of plea bargain, you can face a three year probation term or jail time plus probation. Those are all penalties that come along with it. Obviously there are fines too.
Multiple DWIs within Ten Years Are Charged as Felonies and the Penalties Include a Longer Jail Term
Interviewer: What about for the second and third offense DWI?
Ben: The second DWI conviction within ten years is going to be a felony, an e felony. Then you’re facing one and a third or three years in jail if you’re convicted of it, or a five year probation term or a combination of the two.
Interviewer: The severity of the penalties escalates pretty rapidly.
Ben: It does.
Interviewer: That tells me you should really fight the first DWI charge as much as possible because if you’re convicted, you’re setting yourself up for a felony on subsequent charges, right?
Ben: Yes, you are.
The Long Island Area Has a Ten-Year Look-back Period for DWIs
Interviewer: You said the time period is multiple offenses within ten years?
Ben: Yes. If you receive another DWI charge within ten years, then you can be charged with a felony.
Interviewer: What if it is 11 years later and you receive the second DWI?
Ben: If it’s 11, then I believe the statute says you’ll just be charged with another misdemeanor DWI after 10 years.
Interviewer: Is that what’s called a look-back period?
Ben: Yes, it’s a look-back period.