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In the state of New York, there are seemingly endless acronyms for driving under the influence convictions. You’ve probably heard of the standard DUI charge — but what about DWI, OUI, and OWUI?

In general, each acronym refers to an incident where a driver is under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a combination of both. The differences come into play as it relates to the level of impairment, substance involved, and which municipality (state or local) made the charge.

For our purposes, what’s more important than the distinctions between acronyms is the level of severity of a DUI/DUI/OUI charge. There are factors, called enhancements, that can make a penalty more severe.

If you or a loved one has been charged with a DUI, a criminal defense attorney in New York can advocate for you. Call The Law Office of Lisa Pelosi today for a free consultation.

If you or a loved one has been charged with a DUI, a criminal defense attorney in New York can advocate for you. Call The Law Office of Lisa Pelosi today for a free consultation.

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What Are Enhancements?

As we mentioned, enhancements are factors that can make the penalty of a DUI more severe. Common enhancements include the following scenarios:

Prior Convictions

In New York, having a prior DUI conviction exposes you to much more severe penalties for any repeat convictions. Generally, having a DUI within the last five years (or, in some states, within the 10 years) subjects you to a DUI sentence enhancement.

High BAC Levels

The legal limit for blood-alcohol content (BAC) in New York is .08%. If you drive with a BAC between .05% and .07%, however, you can be charged with a DWAI (driving while ability impaired) charge.

Most states also upgrade penalties when a BAC goes over 0.15. If a BAC is over 0.20, there might be an addition enhancement.

The more intoxicated an individual is while operating a motor vehicle, the more likely they are to have a more serious charge.

Refusal To Take A Breathalyzer Test

Refusal to take a breathalyzer test might seem like a way to cut corners around a DUI charge, but it comes with its own implications.

In certain states, an individual who refuses the test might automatically lose their license or be taken to jail. When it comes to a blood or urine test, on the other hand, police must have a warrant before your charge can be enhanced if you refuse the test.

Driving With A Minor

If you have a minor under the age of 18 in the motor vehicle with you, expect an enhanced charge. Additionally, you might get an even greater enhancement if the child is under the age of 15.

Additional Factors

New York might also enhance a DUI charge if the situation involves:

  • Driving without a valid license
  • Being on probation
  • Having an open container
  • Having multiple previous convictions
  • Causing bodily injury
  • Causing property damage

Hiring A Criminal Defense Attorney For DUI Charges

If you or a loved on has been charged with a DUI or related offense in New York, contact the Law Office of Lisa Pelosi today. We’re available around the clock and offer free consultations. Reach out to us today.