Sometimes drinking and driving is an mistake, but that mistake comes with serious legal consequences in New York. Professional basketball player Jason Kidd's recent misdemeanor charge for drinking and driving shows how a good night can quickly turn ugly. Fortunately no one was injured in the incident, but Jason Kidd alone faces the aftermath. When facing a drinking and driving charge in New York, it's important to understand the law, and a criminal defense attorney can not only provide guidance, but can ensure police and prosecutors meet their burdens to bring and prove charges.
NBA Player Faces Drunk Driving Charge
After a night participating at a charity benefit and then allegedly heading to a nightclub in Southampton with his wife, Jason Kidd was arrested and charged with driving under the influence about 1.5 miles from his home in Water Mill, New York. Police came across the 39-year-old after Kidd crashed his vehicle into a telephone pole. News reports on the incident did not provide Kidd's blood alcohol level at the time of the accident.
New York Drunk Driving Charges
In New York, there are three different classes of drinking and driving charges that are categorized by the driver's blood alcohol content. The higher the BAC the more serious the charge and the associated penalties become. Multiple offenses also raise the charge and increase the penalty.
A driver in New York who has had something to drink and gets behind the wheel can start facing legal penalties if his or her BAC is more than 0.05 and up to 0.07 percent. A driver with a BAC between those levels faces a charge of driving while ability impaired by alcohol. A first offense is a traffic infraction, and those charged with a first-time DWAI face a minimum fine of $300 up to $500, up to 15 days in jail, and a 90-day driver's license suspension. A second DWAI offense remains a traffic infraction and a third or subsequent DWAI offense is a misdemeanor with increasingly greater penalties imposed for conviction.
A driver in New York faces a charge of driving while intoxicated if his or her BAC is 0.08 percent to 0.17 percent. A driver may also face a DWI charge if he or she is impaired by the use of a legal or illegal drug. A first-time DWI offense is a misdemeanor charge and a driver convicted of a first-time DWI faces a minimum fine of $500 up to $1,000, up to one year in jail, and revocation of his or her driver's license for a minimum of six months. A person charged with a second DWI offense within 10 years faces a Class E felony, and a person charged with a third or subsequent DWI within 10 years faces a Class D felony. Both felonies come with greater penalties.
Finally, a driver may face a charge of aggravated driving while intoxicated if his or her BAC is 0.18 percent or greater. A first-offense AGG-DWI is a misdemeanor, and a driver faces a minimum fine of $1,000 up to $2,500, up to one year in jail, and driver's license revocation for a minimum of one year. A second offense is a Class E felony, and a third is a Class D felony with increased penalties.
If you are charged with drinking and driving in New York, you not only face criminal penalties but non-legal penalties as well that may threaten your livelihood. Therefore it's important to have an experienced criminal defense attorney at your side.