One thing that makes the already serious situation of facing DWI charges here in New York even more high-stakes is if a person is accused of driving with a BAC of 0.18 or more. That’s because, under state drunk driving law, driving with a BAC at or above this threshold isn’t a standard DWI offense, but is instead aggravated DWI.

While aggravated DWI generally has the same potential max jail sentences as standard DWI (one year for a first offense, four years for a second offense and seven years for a third offense), there are other areas where the potential penalties are higher for aggravated DWI.

For one, it has a higher fine range for a first offense. A first offense of aggravated DWI carries a mandatory fine of $1,000 to $2,500. Meanwhile, the mandatory fine range is $500 to $1,000 for a first offense of standard DWI.

It also has a higher minimum length of license revocation. The mandatory license revocation for an aggravated DWI is to be at least a year for a first offense and at least 18 months for a second or third. Meanwhile, the minimum revocation length for standard DWI is six months for a first offense and one year for a second or third.

So, it can be a big deal when evidence is brought forth in a New York DWI case indicating that a suspect tested at or above 0.18 for BAC.

Now, it is important to remember that there are things that can throw BAC test results off. For example, errors in test administration could lead to inaccurate results. So, there can be grounds for contesting BAC test results. Drunk driving defense lawyers can help individuals facing charges of DWI or aggravated DWI due to the results of a BAC test investigate whether any such grounds are present in their case.