What is Blood Alcohol Concentration?



    When a person drinks and drives, they can be pulled over and charged with Driving While Intoxicated (DWI). These are very serious charges in the state of New York. To determine if a driver is under the influence, a law enforcement officer may administer a Breathalyzer test or an Alcotest. Through this, they can determine the driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC). The legal limit for a driver’s BAC in the state of New York is 0.08%. If the driver is under 21, the legal limit is 0.02%. If they are over this limit, the driver can be charged with a DWI.

    Consequences of a DWI

    The penalties a person may face for driving while intoxicated can vary depending on the offense. For a first time offense, the driver may face the following consequences:

    • Revoked license for a minimum of 6 months
    • Fines from $500-$1000
    • Possible jail time up to 1 year
    • Possible enrollment in the New York Drinking Driver Program

    For a driver under the age of 21, they may be subject to the following penalties:

    • License suspension for 6 months
    • A civil penalty of $125
    • A $100 fee for suspension termination
    • Possible enrollment in the New York Drinking Driver Program
    • Possible installation of an ignition interlock device

    It is important to know that these consequences can worsen for subsequent offenses.

    High BAC

    When a driver is found with a BAC between 0.08% and 0.18%, they can be charged with a DWI. However, if their BAC is over 0.18%, the driver may face a different charge entirely. If a driver is considered to have a High BAC, they may be charged with aggravated driving while intoxicated (AGG DWI). Drivers who commit an AGG DWI are subject to much more severe consequences than that of a regular DWI charge. Those who are convicted may face the following penalties:

    • Fines from $1000-$2500
    • License revocation for at least 1 year
    • Possible jail time up to 1 year
    • State surcharges and assessment costs

    Similar to a regular DWI charge, those dealing with an AGG DWI charge can receive harsher consequences for subsequent offenses.

    Contact our Firm

    If you have been charged with a DWI or AGG DWI and wish to speak with an experienced attorney, contact Grunwald & Seman, P.C. to schedule a consultation and we would be happy to assist you.

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