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Partner David Bruffett Discusses Distracted Driving on Channel 9 News Bridge Street Program

David Bruffett appeared on the Channel 9 News program today to discuss distracted driving and the penalties for cell phone and texting tickets.  Contintue to watch the video.

Addressing Confusion About DWI Breath Test Refusal

The Difference Between a Roadside DWI Test Refusal and Police Station DWI Test Refusal  The chemical/breath test that is commonly called the Breathalyzer test is typically performed at a police station. It should be noted that there are two levels of refusal with respect to chemical testing in New York. The first is refusal on the side of the road, which means refusing to take what is commonly called the screening test; the results of this test are inadmissible at court in any case. 

Distracted Driving in New York: What All Drivers Need to Know

Distracted Driving means Using a Cell Phone or Portable Electronic Device Driving distracted is dangerous and in recent years New York State has taken notice and has made the vehicle and traffic law more strict. Increased penalties for cell phone use and “texting” while driving apply to all drivers and include an increase from a 3-point to a 5-point assessment on the New York driving record for convictions for using a cell phone (NY VTL §1225c2a) or using a portable electronic device (NYC VTL §1225d). For new drivers in their probationary period, a conviction for...

Trend Toward Increased Numbers of DWI Cases

Despite the immense pressures that are being exerted in this area—i.e., peer pressures, societal pressures, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) advertising campaigns—there does not appear to be a slowdown in the number of DWI cases. I am one of two judges in the third busiest justice court in our county, and we have found that since 2012 there have been on average at least five brand new DWI cases on every single court date. I arraign at least twenty new DWI cases a month, as does my fellow judge, year round—again, despite all of the information that is available about the...

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Increased DWI Chemical Test Refusals and Implied Consent in New York

More New York Drivers are Refusing the DWI Chemical Test   Yet another interesting trend that I have observed developing, which I view as being very dangerous, is the fact that an increasing number of people stopped for DWI are refusing to take the chemical breath test at the police station. Indeed, in the last month I have had four or five clients who did not consent to the test, and all of them are regretting their decision. There used to be reasons why an attorney might say to a client, “It would behoove you to not take the breath test”—i.e., if the client was...

Increasing BAC and the New York Aggravated DWI Statute

Increasing BAC Levels A trend evident to both judges and lawyers is a shift toward much higher blood alcohol content (BAC) levels in DWI cases. During my initial training on prosecuting alcohol related offense at the New York State Police Academy, we were told that a BAC of over 2.0 was considered rare, and that if the BAC was 3.0 or higher the subject would likely be unconscious or close to it. However, over the last five years I have observed that the BAC levels in DWI cases are climbing ever higher. Indeed, there was a time when two or more years would pass before I would see a DWI...

Juries in DWI Cases are Tougher on Defendants

Over the course of the past two decades I have observed a major shift in how juries view drivers who are charged with alcohol-related offenses. From the late 1980s through the early 2000s, the prevailing view of a DWI jury—whether it was a misdemeanor or a felony DWI jury—seemed to be, “There but for the grace of God go I.” Indeed, as I often explain to clients, a DWI is the one serious offense that impacts people from all walks of life. My DWI clients have included lawyers, judges, police officers, architects, engineers, and doctors. However, over the last eight...

Florida Drivers: Impact of New York Traffic Convictions

A Florida driver will receive points on their Florida record  from a ticket in New York, if Florida assesses points for that violation. For example, if a Florida driver received a ticket in New York for speeding 86 in a 65 zone, New York would assess 6 points and Florida would assess 4 points. For a speeding violation more than 15 miles over the limit Florida will assess 3 points. Our goal at Azria & Bruffett is to minimize the affect of your New York traffic ticket both in New York and in your home state. One important point to keep in mind is that even if you are licensed...

What are the penalties for a Felony DWI Conviction?

“Felony” means an offense for which a term of imprisonment over one year may be imposed. All of the most serious crimes are felonies and are divided into classes from A to E. A Felony DWI charge will be filed as either a class D or E depending on the circumstances. A class D felony may be charged for any person who operates a vehicle in violation of the New York State DWI laws after having been convicted of driving while intoxicated or of vehicular assault or vehicular manslaughter at least twice within the preceding 10 years. If convicted, a driver can be punished by a term of...

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What is driving while ability impaired (DWAI)?

Driving while intoxicated (DWI) can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony offense whereas as charge of driving while ability impaired (DWAI) is a violation and therefore non-criminal.  A conviction for the first DWAI, either after trial or as a result of plea bargain, is a non-criminal offense and the penalties are: A fine between $300-$500 and up to 15 days in jail, or both a fine and jail. A Court surcharge of $265. A DMV Driver Responsibility fine of $250 each year for 3 years for a total of $750. A Period of Probation, Conditional Discharge, or up to 15...





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Mr. Habib is the absolute best lawyer I’ve ever met.


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I am very pleased with the outcome of my case. I contacted Ralph Habib from the Azria & Bruffett group to represent me in my defense in connection with a speeding ticket. I had the opportunity to speak with Mr. Habib and found him to be professional and diligent in this area of law. I felt his background and experience would undoubtedly be the right choice. Shannon Liparulo the Paralegal was great at keeping me informed as to the status and sharing the outcome of the case with me. She always answered and returned my calls and emails. I honestly recommend Mr. Ralph Habib and the team from Azria & Bruffett! Thank you Mr. Habib and Shannon. From Melton S

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Mr. Habib and his firm were so helpful and courteous while working on my case. He was very reassuring and any questions I had were answered quickly. This is a excellent firm to work with.

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