New York fugitive task force rounds up DWI fine delinquents

Have you ever wondered what happens when people who are ordered to pay fines after a DWI conviction don't pay them? In the case of a felony-level DWI, the answer may be that the New York/New Jersey Regional Fugitive Task Force is called in.

That is what happened recently in Oneida County, when that county's District Attorney's Office and officers from the task force -- along with some from the Rome Police Department and the New York Mills Police Department for good measure -- went on a round-up. The called the sweep "Operation Personal Accountability" and they arrested 11 people they claim never paid their fines. They also collected more than $5,000 in delinquent fines, according to reports.

Here in New York, the fines for felony-level DWI can be exceedingly costly. You can be charged with a felony for a second offense of any of these charges:

  • Driving while intoxicated (DWI)
  • Driving while impaired by drugs (DWI-drug)
  • Driving while impaired by a combination of alcohol and drugs (DWI-combination)
  • Aggravated DWI (blood-alcohol content of .18 or higher)

The fines can go as high as $5,000 for a second offense, not including any mandatory conviction surcharge and a crime victims' assistance fee that may apply. For a third offense or more, the fines go up to $10,000.

The fine isn't the end of the penalties either. On top of losing your driver's license, being ordered to install an expensive ignition-interlock device on your car, and skyrocketing insurance rates, you could be facing up to 7 years in jail.

The fact is, the consequences of a DWI conviction in New York can be brutal. If you're ever arrested for DWI -- even if it's a misdemeanor -- you need skilled legal counsel. Even if you think you're guilty, don't just plead guilty on your own. A DWI attorney can help you minimize the damage to your life and your wallet.

Source: Utica Observer-Dispatch, "11 arrested, $5,000 collected in unpaid DWI fine sweep," Feb. 7, 2013

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