Common Questions

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Common DWI/DUI Questions

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Attorney Murphy of The Law Office of Keith R. Murphy is a highly skilled Carmel DWI/DUI lawyer with years of experience handling DWI/DUI, DWI, and DWAI cases for the residents of Putnam County and beyond. In his time as an attorney, there have been several questions that are asked frequently by all of his clients. He has therefore provided the following as a reference tool for those facing possible DWI charges.

Contact The Law Office of Keith R. Murphy today if you are looking for diligent, straightforward representation.

What is the difference between DWI/DUI, DWI, and DWAI?

DWI/DUI and DWI may be used interchangeably. While DWI (driving while intoxicated) is the official legal term used in the state of New York, DWI/DUI refers to the same charge. This is the charge that most people are familiar with: if you are found to be driving while having a blood-alcohol content (BAC) exceeding .08% for those aged 21+ and .02% for those underage, you could be facing DWI charges.

A DWAI (driving while ability impaired) charge is slightly more open to interpretation. You could be charged with a DWAI/Alcohol, DWAI/Drugs, or DWAI/Combination. A DWAI/Alcohol charge, though still very serious, is considered a traffic violation, as opposed to a criminal charge as a standard DWI would be. These charges may be brought against someone below the legal BAC limit for a DWI but the officer feels is nonetheless dangerously impaired. A DWAI/Drugs charge, however, is a criminal charge brought against a driver operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs.

Can I refuse to take any type of sobriety test?

New York, as well as many other states, has an implied consent law. This means that your choice to drive within state lines is an agreement to take a chemical test of blood, breath, or urine to determine your BAC if it is requested by law enforcement that you do so. However, the officer may not physically compel you to do so. If you refuse, you could be facing penalties such as immediate license suspension and revocation of one year and a fine of $500 or more. Commercial drivers face even harsher penalties.

What do I do after my arrest for DWI?

There are several best practices during and immediately after an arrest for DWI:

  • Despite the obvious challenges, be polite and courteous to the officer(s) on the scene and do not resist arrest, but do not say anything that could incriminate yourself either.
  • Be observant and take note of anything that could be a violation of your rights. These things could help build your defense!
  • Act quickly after your arrest in seeking the help of a dedicated Carmel DWI/DUI attorney. Contrary to popular belief, the police are allowed to lie to you. Instead of guessing or hoping, bring someone to your defense who has a comprehensive understanding of the law surrounding DWI and your best interests at heart.

Call The Law Office of Keith R. Murphy today at (845) 584-7033 to schedule your free consultation. If you have any further questions, he is available 24/7 to his clients.

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