The threshold for a DWI charge in New York State is .08% blood alcohol content (BAC). While the individual drinking may firmly believe they are in control of the situation and that they have their “wits about them”, the FACT is that even this small amount of liquor distorts vision and hinders reflexes. That can be a fatal combination.
The DWI Conditional Discharge Program was established to provide first-time offenders, with BAC’s below .18%, the opportunity to participate in a supervised 12-month conditional discharge.
Over the 12-month period the offender will be required to comply with their court ordered conditions while being supervised by Genesee Justice.
Conditions may include:
- Report to Genesee Justice
- Obtain an alcohol and substance abuse evaluation
- Follow treatment recommendations
- Perform community service
- Attend a Victim Impact Panel
- Install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID)
- Complete the Impaired Driver Program (IDP)
- View an educational video
- Submit an essay
Potential Cost of a DWI
The following expenditures are what an individual can expect to pay for their first DWI:
Attorney Fees: If one is not eligible for a public defender, they can expect to pay @ least $2500.00 for a defense attorney.
Court Fines: The Court can impose a fine between $500-$1,000.
Individuals charged with a DWI must obtain an alcohol & substance abuse evaluation. The cost for someone without insurance can range from $77-$150. In the event that the clinic recommends the person for treatment, they can expect to pay another $67 average per visit. So for example, if an individual is recommended for Phase I, they must attend 24 classes x $67 per visit = $1608.00.
The fee to attend a Victim Impact Panel is up to $60.
If an individual is required to install an Ignition Interlock Device, they can expect to pay an initial installation fee from $95-$125. Individuals may have the IID for a minimum of one year. The monthly fee is approximately $100 x 12 months = $1200. De-installation fees range from $60-$75. In addition, there are manufacturer imposed fees for other issues, such as not using the device properly and getting locked out.
When charged with a DWI, one can inevitably expect to lose their license. Unless they plan on staying confined to their home for the next 6 months to a year, they will need to obtain a Conditional License. The Conditional License has driving restrictions and costs $75.
To restore one’s full driving privileges they will need to complete the Impaired Driver Program (IDP) course, which runs for 7 weeks and costs $225.
Once the IDP course is completed, an individual may apply for their full license. The cost is $25 - $50.
Before one can drive again, they will learn that their premium insurance company has dropped them and they must obtain insurance with a high risk company. The insurance will also inflate $2500 a year.
They can then come home to find a bill from Albany for the NYS driver assessment fee for $750.
So is the financial cost of a DWI, which according to these expenditures could be over $10,000, worth it? And this obviously does not take into consideration other costs - the potential risk to self and others. Those are costs that cannot be calculated.