Skip to main content

Dwai is not a crime?

New York, NY |

So I asked the other day what the difference is between a dwi and dwai but just to be clear if an application asks if I have ever been convicted of a crime and I have a dwai I don't have to tell them I had one, correct? The application also states in parentheses misdemeanor or felony.

+ Read More

Attorney answers 8


Correct. DWAI is a non-criminal violation.

Joseph A. Lo Piccolo, Esq.
Immediate Past President, Criminal Courts Bar Association 11'-12'
Hession Bekoff & Lo Piccolo
1103 Stewart Ave, Suite 200
Garden City, NY 11530
516-408-3666 (o) / 516-408-3833 (f)

I am a criminal defense attorney practicing in Nassau, Suffolk and New York City. The above information is not a substitution for a meeting whereas all potential legal issues can be discussed.


DWAI is not a crime.


Driving WHile Ability Impaired is not a crime.

I am a former federal and State prosecutor and now handle criminal defense and personal injury/civil rights cases. Feel free to check out my web site and contact me at (212) 577-9797 or via email at I was named to the Super Lawyers list as one of the top attorneys in New York for 2012. No more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers. The above answer is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.


In New York driving while ability impaired VTL 1192.1 is a traffic infraction and not a crime.

Note: For informational purposes only. Seek an in person consultation with an attorney to be informed about all of your rights.


Your lawyer should be answering these questions for you. If you don't have a lawyer retain one. If you want to represent yourself you are making a mistake and should not be looking for advice online, even if from qualified lawyers.


IF the DWAI is not DWAI Drugs or DWAI combination alcohol and drugs, then it is not a misdemeanor but a traffic violation.

If you found this "helpful" or "best answer," please click it with my appreciation. My response is for educational purposes and does not constitute legal advice nor creates an attorney client relationship which requires all the details and a personal conference.


Dwai is not a crime. If your case is still pending please feel free to contact me for a free consultation 914-490-5896


Thank you for your question. Driving While Ability Impaired (Sec. 1192(1) Vehicle and Traffic Law) is a traffic infraction and not a crime.

However please keep in mind that a DWAI charge, after having been convicted two or more times of another alcohol related driving offense (under section 1192 of the NYS Vehicle and Traffic Law) within the prior ten (10) years, is chargeable as a misdemeanor (Sec. 1193(1)(a) Vehicle and Traffic Law.)

Assuming that you do not have the requisite prior convictions to elevate this charge, then DWAI is not a misdemeanor (crime.)

Good luck and thanks again for your question.

Brian Berkowitz is a DWI and Criminal Defense Attorney located in Rockland County, New York.

This answer does not in any way create or establish an attorney-client relationship and is intended solely to be generic legal information, not legal advice. Under no circumstances should the information obtained here be used to make decisions about the proper course of a legal matter.