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The Difference Between Being Charged With Driving While Impaired and Driving While Intoxicated

Zev Goldstein Esq. has experience defending against many types of DWI charges in New York’s sober driving statute. DWI may stand for “Driving While Ability Impaired” and DWI may also stand for “Driving While Intoxicated.” Lawyer Zev Goldstein explains the difference between being charged with driving impaired and driving intoxicated.

“Driving while ability impaired” (DWI 1192-1) is only a traffic violation. New York’s highest court explained that impairment is when alcohol “has actually impaired, to any extent, the physical and mental abilities which he is expected to possess in order to operate a vehicle as a reasonable and prudent driver.” People v. Cruz, 48 N.Y.2d 419 (1979). Driving while ability impaired is not a crime, however, it carries serious penalties including the loss of one’s driver’s license for 90 days and requiremented alcohol evaluations. An experienced DWI lawyer can help you figure out why the police charged you with the lower charge and whether you can fight it.

“Driving While Intoxicated” (DWI 1192-3) is a Misdemeanor. New York’s highest court explained that Intoxication is when a driver has “a greater degree of impairment … to the extent that he is incapable of employing the physical and mental abilities which he is expected to possess in order to operate a vehicle as a reasonable and prudent driver.” People v. Cruz, 48 N.Y.2d 419 (1979). A Driving While Intoxicated conviction goes on your permanent criminal record, can affect your ability to get a job and professional license. An experienced DWI attorney can help you fight your criminal charges to protect your record and good name.

To highlight the difference in severity: Driving while ability impaired (DWI 1192-1) is a traffic infraction for first and second offenses whereas a third offense of Driving while ability impaired (DWI 1192-1) is an unclassified misdemeanor. Driving While Intoxicated (DWI 1192-3) is an unclassified misdemeanor for the first offense and becomes a felony in the second offense.
If you are charged with DWI for Driving While Intoxicated or Driving While Impaired, contact an experienced DWI lawyer to explore your options. Call attorney Zev Goldstein for a free initial consultation at (845) 371-8457 or email monseylaw@gmail.com.