Brooklyn DWI / DWAI Defense Attorney

Being convicted of DWI or DWAI can have serious negative consequences that can impact the rest of your life.  Many people incorrectly assume that DWI is “not serious,” but in reality, the state of New York imposes extremely harsh penalties for offenders. If an alleged offender has a history of DWI, or if other aggravating factors are present, the consequences could be devastating.

If you are convicted, not only do you face lengthy periods of incarceration and huge restitution fines, you could also have your license to drive taken away, in addition to other unpleasant and time-consuming penalties.  For example, you may be required to install an Interlock Ignition Device (IID) in your car, or may be subject to community service or substance counseling.

In addition to the immediate repercussions, you might find that your DWI conviction continues to haunt you well into your future. If you have a record of drunk or drugged driving in your history, you may be blocked from taking certain work positions, or other opportunities later in life.

The bottom line is that the charges against you are serious.  You need an aggressive and experienced Brooklyn DWI/DWAI defense lawyer who can fight on your behalf.  To schedule your private legal consultation, call the law offices of attorney Victor Knapp at (718) 263-9000.  The sooner we can get started, the better, so call right away to confidentially explore your options.

Man At Courthouse

DWI / DUI/ DWAI Defense

Depending on the circumstances involved in your incident, you could be facing anything from a misdemeanor to a felony.  Even at the misdemeanor end of the spectrum, the consequences can be harsh — and if you are convicted of a more serious crime, you’ll have to fight against the label and stigma of being a felon for years to come.  It is critical that you have the support of a dedicated, knowledgeable defense attorney in your corner.

Victor Knapp has more than 33 years of practical experience handling a wide variety of misdemeanor and felony DWI and DWAI charges involving drugs and alcohol.  Regardless of how tough or overwhelming the allegations against you may seem, Victor Knapp is here to help protect your rights and advocate for you in court.

What’s the Difference Between DWI and DWAI?

In a nutshell, DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) is synonymous with the more commonly-used term DUI (Driving Under the Influence), and is generally more serious than DWAI (Driving While Ability Impaired).  The state of New York observes the following BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) limits:

  • BAC for DWI: 0.08% or greater
  • BAC for DWAI: greater than 0.05% but less than 0.07%

It’s very important to note that DWI/DWAI may also involve drugs in addition to or instead of alcohol.

Drinking And Driving


Numerous variables can have a dramatic effect on how DWI and DWAI convictions are penalized. Factors which can worsen the situation might include:

  • Child Endangerment
  • Death/Injury
  • High BAC (0.18% or greater)
  • Reckless Driving
  • Repeat Offenses

Minimum Penalties (DWI)

  • Sentence: 1 year
  • Fine: $500
  • License Suspension: 6 months

Maximum Penalties (DWI)

  • Sentence: 7 years
  • Fine: $10,000
  • License Suspension: 18 months or more

Minimum Penalties (DWAI)

  • Sentence: 15 days
  • Fine: $300
  • License Suspension: 90 days

Maximum Penalties (DWAI)

  • Sentence: 7 years
  • Fine: $10,000
  • License Suspension: 18 months or more

Man behind jail bars

Refusing a Chemical Test

New York is a state which utilizes sobriety checkpoints.  Some drivers think they can avoid being charged with DWI if they simply avoid the checkpoints, or refuse to submit to a chemical test (breath, urine, blood).  However, under New York’s implied consent law, such a refusal is an offense in and of itself.

Implied consent means that from the moment a New York resident receives his or her license, they are “implying” that they give “consent” to be tested.  Therefore, a refusal is in violation.  Furthermore, prosecuting attorneys may argue that refusal to submit to testing can be interpreted as an admission of guilt (and as a subsequent attempt to avoid punishment).

While chemical refusal will not put you in jail, it does come with other penalties:

  • $500 minimum fine
  • At least one year of license suspension

If you or someone you love is facing intoxicated driving charges, call the law offices of Victor Knapp at (718) 263-9000, or contact us online today to schedule a private consultation.