In July of 2012, Jason Kidd, former NBA player, was charged with drunk driving after getting into an accident in the Hamptons. Kidd crashed into a telephone pole. On July 16, Kidd pled guilty to driving while ability impaired (DWAI). Kidd is now a coach for the Brooklyn Nets. He will be suspended for two games, the season opener against the Cleveland Cavaliers and then a home game against the Miami Heat.
It is rare for a person to be charged with a DWAI. In Colorado, if your blood alcohol level is 0.080 or greater or if a person refuses testing to determine the BAC level, officers and prosecutors generally charge DUI. If, however, a person takes a blood or breath test and the result is between 0.050 and 0.080, then the person is generally charged with a DWAI. There is a presumption in Colorado that if your BAC is equal to or greater than a 0.050, your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle was impaired.
While it is rare to only be charged with a DWAI, it is possible to get a DUI reduced to a DWAI. A DWAI is a reduced charge from a DUI. A DUI conviction will result in 12 points assessed against your driver’s license, while a DWAI carries 8 points. The amount of community service required and the fines are less for a DWAI than a DUI. However, a DWAI is an alcohol related driving offense, just like a DUI. In Colorado, if you get charged with a DUI or DWAI in the future, the law makes no distinction between a prior DUI or prior DWAI for purposes of potential penalties on a subsequent alcohol related driving offense. In addition, under certain limited circumstances, you may be better off pleading to a DUI charge rather than a DWAI plus some minor traffic offense. For these reasons, the best DUI attorneys can review your particular circumstances and advise you as to whether you are better off accepting a DUI, a DWAI or going to trial on a case.