Practices / DWI

We’re dedicated to providing a vigorous defense to individuals charged with a DWI, and our Syracuse DWI lawyers have a deep knowledge and understanding of New York State Laws.

Our experienced team is committed to obtaining the best possible result for our clients, while providing them with the information they need to make informed decisions about their DWI arrest. You can learn more about the different types of charges, as well as important terms to be familiar with below, or visit our main practice page for additional information.


DWAI stands for Driving While Ability Impaired. A DWAI is different than a DWI. For a DWI, the individual must be driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent. For a DWAI by Alcohol, blood alcohol can be between .05 and .07 percent.


Driving While Ability Impaired by the Use of a Drug is defined as operating a motor vehicle while your ability to do so is impaired by the use of a drug. The particular impairing drug must be listed as a controlled substance under the New York State Public Health Law. Impairment by some drugs may not establish a violation of the law for the purposes of DWAI: Drugs. If you’ve been charged with a DWAI, you aren’t alone—and you don’t have to look any further for a DWI Attorney in Syracuse. Our team at Nave Law can help!

DWI – Per Se

DWI – Per Se stands for Driving While Intoxicated, and if you’re drinking and driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or higher, you’re likely to be charged. The penalties and charges you receive can depend on many factors, but the Syracuse DWI Attorneys at Nave Law can help you navigate the often-confusing laws and penalties so you can get your life back on track.

DWI – Common Law

DWI Common Law stands for Driving While Intoxicated, but there is no blood alcohol content. This charge is based on police observations.

Aggravated DWI

In New York State, you can be charged with an aggravated DWI if you’re driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.18% or higher. This is a more serious offense, and as a result carries more serious penalties with it, including but not limited to a minimum 1-year license suspension and fines of $1000 to $2500.

Felony DWI

If you receive 3 DWI charges in the span of 10 years, this becomes a class D felony charge, and can result in a jail sentence of up to 7 years along with additional fines and loss of license. A first DWI offense will be considered a misdemeanor, but if you have repeated the offense, or injured or killed another person—even if it is your first offense—felony charges can be made.

Leandras Law

Under this law, drunk drivers who drive with passengers under the age of 15 can be charged with a Class E felony, and will be required to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicle for at least 12 months.


In New York State, it is against the law to operate any type of motorized vehicle while intoxicated. SWI stands for Snowmobiling While Intoxicated. Snowmobiling is a popular winter sport in New York State, but it’s important to remember that it is illegal to operate a snowmobile while under the influence of alcohol.


Boating While Intoxicated (BWI) is illegal in New York State. This charge applies to those who are operating a boat with a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or higher. Penalties upon conviction can include jail time, steep fines, or a driver’s license revocation. This conviction is a misdemeanor conviction that will result in a permanent record. With such steep penalties, it’s important that anyone charged fully understands their legal options. Our experienced BWI lawyers at Nave Law can help.

Zero Tolerance

In New York State, the Zero Tolerance Law refers to the violation that occurs when a person under 21 years of age drives with any measurable blood alcohol content. The individual found guilty of this violation will have their license revoked for at least 6 months.

Vehicular Homicide

This criminal charge involves the death of an individual other than the driver that happens because of negligent or deliberately murderous operation of a motor vehicle.

Vehicular Manslaughter

In New York State, Vehicular Manslaughter applies to intoxicated drivers or boaters who cause the death of another individual. There are three different types of vehicular manslaughter: first degree, second degree, and aggravated. All three involve drunk or drugged operation of a motor vehicle.

Vehicular Assault

This crime occurs if an individual is found guilty of causing serious physical injury to another driver or pedestrian when driving while intoxicated.

Common Law DWI

In New York State, this type of DWI occurs if the individual refuses a breathalyzer test, or any other type of blood alcohol content test. Even if you refuse to take these types of tests, you can still be charged with a DWI. This is why it’s important to have an experienced DWI lawyer from Nave Law on your side to provide an aggressive defense, and get you the best possible outcome.

Interlock Device

This type of device is used to prevent a vehicle from starting until the user blows into a breathalyzer. If their BAC content exceeds the level preprogrammed into the device, the vehicle’s ignition will be temporarily locked. This system is often used as one of the penalties for DWI and DWI related charges.

AUO 1st Degree

AUO stands for Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a motor vehicle in New York State. If you’re driving after your license has been revoked because of a DWI related charge, this is a criminal offense. AUO in the 1st degree is typically charged when a person knows that their license has been revoked and is found driving under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or both.

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