Aggravated DWI at or over 0.18% BAC, VTL §1192.2a, in New York


This crime is based solely on a breath or blood test result because it requires a reading of 0.18% BAC or higher.   Most people charged with "ADWI" are clearly intoxicated and are usually caught because their driving is so terrible.  I’ve had clients drive the wrong way up one-way streets, flip their cars, and even crash into people’s homes. [NOTE:  if you get into a car accident while driving drunk and hurt someone, then you will be facing MUCH more serious felony-level charges].  

 On the flip side of that coin, I have also had clients who registered very high BAC numbers on their breath test and were clearly not as intoxicated as their breath test would otherwise indicate.  As discussed in other sections of the website, breath test results are not accurate in many instances and can give FALSE POSITIVE readings.  If you recently took a shot of alcohol, used mouthwash, vomited, or had otherwise high alcohol content in your mouth (but not in your blood), then the breath test will give a much higher reading than is truly indicative of your level of intoxication in your blood.  The breath test is fooled frequently. 

Be warned.  Aggravated DWI is a very serious crime in New York.  It is also treated as a very serious and dangerous crime in Ithaca and Tompkins County.  Local prosecutors recognize that people who drive intoxicated at more than TWICE or even THREE TIMES the legal limit of 0.08% BAC pose a serious threat to public safety and will often try to punish people charged with Aggravated DWI very harshly.


  1. Up to 1 year in jail
  2. Up to 3 years probation (closely monitored community supervision)
  3. Mandatory Ignition Interlock Device for 1 year
  4. $1000-$2500 fine
  5. $395 or $400 court surcharge (depends on if City or Town/Village court)
  6. Mandatory participation in Drunk Driver Program (DDP) class [7 week class]
  7. Revocation of license for 12 months [ 1 year if under age 21]
  8. Mandatory attendance to Victim Impact Panel
  9. DMV fines of $750 
  10. Fees for DMV relicensure 
  11. Restitution for any property damage, etc 
  12. Community Service
  13. Permanent lifetime criminal record (no expungement in NY)

As local DWI defense attorneys, we understand that jail time and up to 3 years of closely monitored probation are very real possibilities in an Aggravated DWI case in Ithaca, New York and surrounding counties.  


If we can: our goal in defending these types of cases is to prove to the prosecutor that your Aggravated DWI was a single mistake, not a pattern of behavior that warrants 3 years of probation or even jail.  

If we can:  we would point out that the breath results were clearly skewed due to somebody's coherent mental and good physical capabilities at the scene of an arrest.  For example, if the breath test registers you as a 0.26% BAC, and you are female who weighs 120 pounds, and can carry on a conversation and even stand up without assistance, then it is LIKELY that the breath test result was too high.  Common sense can sometimes prevail in these cases if the prosecutor and Judge can be made to understand our basic human biochemistry.  

Every case is a different animal, but we try to use any fact or legal premise we can to defend our clients charged with Aggravated DWI.  Avoiding any jail time or a three year probation sentence is the ultimate goal for any Aggravated DWI case in Ithaca, NY or in the surrounding Finger Lakes area.  

If you have been charged with Aggravated DWI, call us:  607-229-5184

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Mr. Cyr made it possible for me to be able to continue on with my future without a criminal charge.
— Faith