DWI vs. DUI: Differentiating Alcohol-Related Offenses in NYC


At Cohen Forman Barone P.C, navigating the legal system can be daunting, especially regarding alcohol-related offenses in New York City. Individuals may face two common charges: DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) and DUI (Driving Under the Influence). Despite their similar acronyms, these offenses differ in crucial ways. This blog post highlights the distinctions between DWI and DUI, providing a better understanding of these alcohol-related charges in NYC.

Understanding DWI: Driving While Intoxicated

DWI, or Driving While Intoxicated, is considered a more severe offense than DUI in New York. This charge is applicable when a person operates a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) that exceeds the legal limit, which is typically 0.08% for drivers aged 21 and over. However, the limit is lower for commercial drivers, usually at 0.04% BAC. Additionally, the legal limit is reduced to 0.02% BAC for drivers under 21, making it illegal to operate a vehicle with any measurable amount of alcohol in their system.

The penalties can be severe if you are charged with a DWI in NYC. They may include heavy fines, suspension or revocation of your driver's license, mandatory attendance at an alcohol education program, probation, and even jail time, particularly for repeat offenders or cases involving accidents resulting in injury or death. You must seek legal representation immediately if you face DWI charges, as the consequences can significantly impact your life.

Understanding DUI: Driving Under the Influence

DUI, or Driving Under the Influence, is similar to DWI, but there is a crucial distinction. Unlike DWI, a DUI charge in New York applies to individuals under 21 who are found operating a vehicle with any measurable amount of alcohol in their system, even if their BAC does not exceed the typical legal limit of 0.08%. For drivers under 21, any detectable amount of alcohol can lead to a DUI charge.

The penalties for a DUI conviction can be severe for young drivers, as they may face fines, mandatory attendance at an alcohol awareness program, and a license suspension, among other consequences. Additionally, having a DUI on their record at a young age can impact their future opportunities, including college admissions and employment prospects. As a result, young drivers must understand the seriousness of a DUI charge and seek experienced legal counsel to protect their rights and future.

Defenses for DWI and DUI Charges

At Cohen Forman Barone P.C, we have a team of experienced attorneys well-versed in handling DWI and DUI cases in NYC. Whether you face a DWI charge with potential jail time or a DUI charge that could impact your future, our attorneys will diligently review your case, explore potential defenses, and advocate for the best possible outcome.

Common defenses for DWI and DUI charges may include:

  • Challenging the validity of the breathalyzer test results.
  • Questioning the legality of the traffic stop.
  • Challenging the accuracy of the field sobriety tests conducted by law enforcement officers.

Our skilled attorneys will leave no stone unturned in building a robust defense tailored to your case.

Seek Legal Representation Today

If you or a loved one is facing DWI or DUI charges in New York City, seeking legal representation from a reputable and experienced law firm like Cohen Forman Barone P.C is crucial. Our dedicated team of attorneys will guide you through the complexities of the legal system, fight for your rights, and work tirelessly to achieve the best possible outcome for your case.

Remember, time is of the essence in alcohol-related offenses, so do not hesitate to contact us for a confidential consultation. With our knowledge, experience, and commitment to excellence, you can trust that your case is in capable hands. Let us stand by your side and help you navigate this challenging time.

Contact Cohen Forman Barone P.C, today to learn more!

Related Posts
  • Do's and Don'ts of Using Social Media During a Criminal Case Read More
  • Factors Contributing to Domestic Violence and Assault Charges During COVID-19 Read More
  • Can My Loved One Be Released Early from Prison Because of the COVID-19 Pandemic? Read More