3 Critical DWI Facts
Boating on Lake Erie. Biking through Delaware Park. Riding a horse-drawn carriage through Canalside. Cruising down the Kensington Expressway. These are all examples of how Buffalo’s residents spend their leisure time during the summer swelter, a pair or two of wheels and a motor serving as their tickets to fun. As healthful as outdoor recreational activities may be, it is always important to operate a motor or wheeled vehicle responsibly. Reports of arrests related to Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) charges are regular occurrences in the news, and these offenses have significant impacts on the safety of our community. However, DWI charges can be levied against drivers of vehicles other than cars. To ensure that you safely and responsibly enjoy the remainder of your summer, check that you know these three critical DWI facts.
What Are the Criteria of DWI and DWAI?
A person may be convicted for DWI if he or she was driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or higher. Though the term DUI, or “Driving Under the Influence,” is also used colloquially for the same offense, it is not a legal term used in Buffalo. The closest Buffalo equivalent to what other states call DUI is Driving While Ability Impaired, or The most salient difference between DWI and DWAI is that DWI is a criminal misdemeanor, but DWAI is a traffic infraction. This means that DWI will carry harsher penalties, including fines and possibly jail time.
DWI Does Not Just Apply to Cars.
In some states, it is possible to be charged with a DWI while riding a bicycle. This is not the case in Buffalo; state DWI law is limited explicitly to motor Individuals riding altered bicycles equipped with a motor may still be charged with a DWI, but those riding any bicycles while intoxicated may merely face misdemeanor charges for public intoxication or public endangerment. The same principle applies to horses and to horse-drawn carriages, who are still subject to all the traffic regulationsgoverning motor vehicles but may not be convicted of DWI or DWAI.
Yes, Boating While Intoxicated Is a Real Charge.
You can be charged with Boating While Intoxicated (BWI) under Buffalo Navigation Laws. Since legislation passed in 2006, penalties for BWI and Boating While Ability Impaired (BWAI) have been on par with penalties for DWI and DWAI in Buffalo.
DWI, DWAI, and similar offenses have substantial consequences, and they are not to be taken lightly. A DWAI violation can result in a fine of $300–$500 and a maximum of 15 days in jail. A DWI misdemeanor incurs a fine of $500–$1,000, a maximum of one full year in jail, and a six-month revocation of one’s driver’s license. As shown above, riding or driving motorized bicycles and boats while intoxicated can culminate in the same repercussions. We hope these 3 critical DWI facts helped you better understand your rights and responsibilities. If you are concerned about DWAI and DWI charges, or if you feel that you were unfairly charged for engaging in either offense, be sure to immediately contact our office of attorneys with experience in DWI law.