Almost one third of U.S. traffic crash deaths involved drivers who were under the influence of alcohol at levels of .08 g/dL or higher, and alcohol-related accidents were still increased by impaired drivers with lower alcohol levels. Drunk driving laws make it illegal nationwide to drive with a BAC at or above 0.08%. Approximately 30 people die in alcohol-related driving accidents in the United States as a daily occurrence.
Legal counsel can be quite effective for individuals who are arrested for driving while intoxicated and causing injury, or death to others. Penalties in New York are severe, including charges for manslaughter, vehicular manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, aggravated driving while intoxicated (DWI), acting in a manner endangering a minor child, driving while intoxicated and driving while ability impaired (DWAI) by alcohol. The charges for DWI and DWAI are different in New York.
Individuals may be charged with a DWI if their blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08 or higher and they are considered legally drunk in New York. DWI is a criminal charge because a person operated a vehicle while being over the legal limit of alcohol consumption. If a driver has a BAC between .05 and .07 the charge may be DWAI (or a wet reckless charge) and considered a traffic infraction, so the ability to plea down charges is a possibility. For people under 21, “zero tolerance” laws make it illegal to drive with any measurable amount of alcohol in their system.
The driver may not be the only person named in a drunk driving accident lawsuit. If a driver is visibly intoxicated when purchasing alcohol at a bar, restaurant, or store right before an accident, bar and store owners could be sued under New York’s Dram Shop Act.
Criminal and civil action.
There is an overlap in cases that involve drunk driving because there may be a criminal prosecution case and a civil lawsuit. If the driver is found guilty in the criminal action it may strengthen the civil case damages, because negligence per se has been proven. When possible, DWI charges should be addressed with the assistance of a New York criminal lawyer, because penalties are progressive and can negatively affect every facet of a person’s professional and personal life.
Hire a criminal defense attorney.
A knowledgeable criminal defense attorney may be able to reduce the severity of DWI charges by building a strong defense case, or utilizing situations where blood alcohol levels were lower than the legal limit, or through discrepancies in alcohol screening and arrest actions. Contact the Law Offices of Darren DeUrso to discuss case particulars regarding the impact of a victim’s loss recovery caused by DWI actions and relevant criminal charges.
Darren DeUrso, Attorney at Law
188 East Post Road, Suite 300
White Plains, NY 10601
Phone: (914) 772-8614