On December 21, 2008, star guard Jason Richardson of the Phoenix Suns was charged with DWI in downtown Phoenix. Richardson was arrested after he was allegedly observed drifting between lanes in his 2008 Mercedes. He is accused of having a BAC (blood alcohol content) in excess of .08. In New York, Mr. Richardson would be facing potential revocation of his driver’s license for 6 months and fines in the range of $750-$1,000 if convicted on a DWI charge. However, on a first drunk driving offense in New York, and if no one was injured and there was no property damage, Mr. Richardson would be eligible for a DWAI (driving while ability impaired). A DWAI is a traffic violation, not a misdemeanor, and results in a 90 day suspension of the driver’s license instead of a 6 month revocation, and significantly reduced fines of approximately $500 including surcharges.
Former NBA star Antoine Walker was charged with suspicion of drunk driving in Miami Beach in the early morning on January 5, 2009. Walker was allegedly driving a black Mercedes without headlights on when he was pulled over by local police. Officers detected a strong odor of alcohol, and Mr. Walker refused a chemical test of his breath. He was being held on $1,000 bond. If the refusal occurred in New York, there is a potential penalty of a one year revocation of his driver’s license, and there is a separate administrative license hearing regarding the refusal which is conducted within ten days of the arrest at the Department of Motor Vehicles.
If you are charged with a New York DWI or other drunk driving offense, or a chemical test refusal in New York, contact The Law Office Of Mark A. Siesel online or toll free at (914) 428-7386 for a free consultation with an experienced and knowledgeable attorney to discuss your legal rights and options.