New York DWI Penalties

Written by Lindsay Cordero
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In New York, the laws are strict about driving while intoxicated or impaired by alcohol or drugs. A person who is arrested on suspicion of drunk driving may be charged with Driving While Ability Impaired by Alcohol (DWAI) if their blood alcohol content (BAC) is over .05% and less than .07%. BAC of .08% or higher at the time of arrest will result in a charge of Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), and BAC of .18% or higher at the time of arrest will bring on an Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated (A-DWI) charges.

Penalties for each of these charges differ and are dependent upon whether it is a first or subsequent offense, circumstances surrounding the arrest (such as whether or not people were injured), and the existence of a prior criminal record of the person being sentenced. Below is a summary of consequences that can reasonably be expected by a person convicted of a routine DWI in New York.

1st Offense

In New York, a first time conviction of Driving While Intoxicated usually results in fines of $500 to $1,000 plus surcharges and fees, jail time of up to one (1) year, and a minimum of a six (6) month driver’s license suspension.

2nd Offense

A second DWI conviction within ten (10) years of the first in New York is a felony and may carry the penalties of $1,000 to $5,000 in fines plus surcharges and fees. Additionally, the convict may be sentenced to a minimum of (5) days in prison or thirty (30) days of community service and a maximum of four (4) years in prison. A second DWI conviction will bring with it a one (1) year driver’s license suspension and require the convict to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicle and at their own expense.

3rd Offense

A third DWI conviction in New York within five (5) years of the previous conviction mandates the installation of an ignition interlock device on the convict’s vehicle at their own expense following a one (1) year driver’s license suspension. The third time DWI offender may also face up to seven (7) years in jail, with a minimum of ten (10) days in jail or sixty (60) days of community service. The person convicted of a third DWI offense in New York will be required to pay fines of $2,000 to $10,000 in addition to fees and surcharges.

If you or someone you know is facing DWI charges in New York, it is important to contact a New York lawyer specializing in New York DWI law. This is the best way to ensure your rights are protected.