The regular limit for drunk driving in New York is 0.08% BAC. To be classified as a “hardcore” drunk driver, the driver must be driving around at double that, or 0.15 BAC –which in itself is also an Aggravated DWI charge. Drivers which have at least one prior New York DWI charge on their record also risk being considered a hard-core drunk driver.
Hardcore drunk drivers exhibit problems relating to alcohol and substance abuse, resistance to education and treatment, and continue to normalize driving after drinking despite previous sanctions against such behavior.
Hardcore Drunk Drivers Cause Most Drunk Driving Deaths
According to the 2012 Crash Data of NHTSA, 59% of all drunk-driving related deaths involved drivers with BAC of over .15. Drunk driving fatalities accounted for 40% of traffic fatalities during the 2012 holidays, and of these 70% were caused by high-BAC drunk drivers. (FARS, State of Drunk Driving in America)
Hardcore drunk drivers disproportionately cause the majority of accidents and are much more likely to kill themselves while on the road.
Hardcore Drunk Drivers are Often Repeat Offenders
Detailed findings from the participating DUI Courts in the National Hardcore Drunk Driving Projectshow an average of 3 arrests and 2.6 driving convictions for drivers caught with a BAC of nearly .20. Most DUI court clients reported drinking and driving at least a few times in each month.
In 2012, 41% of all drivers involved with fatal crashes with a previous DWI arrest had a BAC of .15 and above.
Hardcore Drunk Drivers are in the Responsible Adult Stage of Life
The greatest number of drunk drivers involved in fatal crashes in 2011 was highest in the 25-34 age range (11,483) and the next in the 35-44 range (10,973). Remember, high BAC is responsible for over half to nearly three-quarters of all DUI deaths.
Hardcore Drunk Drivers are the Reason Harsh Driving Laws Exist
There is criticism about lowering the legal drinking limit because it does nothing to address the fact that more fatalities involve those who drive with .15 or more BAC – making the legal limit completely irrelevant to their case. At the same time however, hardcore DWI drivers themselves have responded in interviews that mandatory jail time and high fees on their first offense probably would have deterred them from a repeat offense.
Perhaps the most famous of laws enacted because of hardcore drunk drivers is Leandra’s Law, which involved a driver with a carful of children driving at double the legal limit and with traces of marijuana in her system.
Hardcore Drunk Driving is a Complex Social Issue
Perhaps the worst part of having hardcore drunk drivers on the road is that it is a societal issue. Alcohol and substance dependency is the primary cause behind repeat DUI offenses, accompanied by depressed economic conditions and prior criminal records.
A New York DWI Lawyer is absolutely needed for any Aggravated DWI case, and it is difficult to defend. Behind every hardcore drunk driving case are prevailing social problems, and a socio normative view of driving while drunk – which isn’t helped by popular media and celebrities that seem to make light of driving while drunk.