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DWI First Offense in New York

Even a first offense for driving while intoxicated (DWI) in New York carries severe penalties. A first-time DWI can result in having your driver's license revoked, fines, higher insurance premiums, and a criminal record. Drivers arrested for a DWI in the Hudson Valley should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to fight criminal DWI charges that could take away their license to drive.

Intoxicated by Alcohol or Drugs in New York

Under New York Vehicle and Traffic Laws Section 1192, “No person shall operate a motor vehicle while in an intoxicated condition.”

A driver with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or higher is considered a per se DWI. This means that even if a driver can operate a vehicle perfectly, a BAC over the limit is automatically considered a DWI.

A driver can also be arrested for driving while ability impaired (DWAI) by drugs, alcohol, or a combination of drugs and alcohol. This can include illegal narcotics as well as prescription medications. The prosecutor will argue that intoxication can be shown through a police officer's report that the driver showed signs of impairment, such as failing a field sobriety test.

Penalties for a First Offense DWI

The penalties for a DWI can depend on whether the driver had alcohol and/or drugs in their system, the level of alcohol, and whether a child was in the vehicle. The penalties for a DWI first offense can include the following:

  • Fines of between $500 and $1,000;
  • A surcharge of $395.00 if the case is in City Court, or $400.00 if the case is in either a Town or Village Court;
  • Misdemeanor conviction;
  • A maximum of up to 1 year in jail;
  • Two or three years probation;
  • Mandatory driver's license revocation for at least 6 months, and;
  • Installing and maintaining an ignition interlock device on any motor vehicle that you own or may operate for a minimum of 6 months, and;
  • Paying an Assessment Fee of $250.00 for 3 consecutive years to the Department of Motor Vehicles.

The penalties are the same for a DWAI-Drug or DWAI-Combination of drugs and alcohol; however, for a DWAI Drug conviction, you will not be required to install an ignition interlock device. The penalties for a DWAI for alcohol include fines of between $300 and $500, a surcharge of either $255.00 or $260.00 depending on which court you are in (City, Town or Village Court), maximum of 15 days in jail, and a 90-day suspended license. A DWAI based solely on alcohol is not a crime it is a traffic infraction.

If you are charged with driving with a BAC of .18% or higher, you will be charged with an Aggravated DWI. If you have a passenger who is a child who is less than sixteen years of age you will also be charged with an Aggravated DWI. The penalties for an aggravated DWI include:

  • Fines of between $1,000 and $2,500;
  • A surcharge of $370.00 if the case is in a City Court and $375.00 if the case is in either a Town or Village Court;
  • Misdemeanor conviction;
  • A maximum of up to 1 year in jail;
  • Two or three years probation;
  • An ignition interlock device (IID) for at least 6 months; and
  • Mandatory driver's license revocation for at least one year.

Loss of Your New York Driver's License After a DWI

A DWI will generally result in a mandatory revocation of your New York Driver's License. This means your driving privileges are voided. In order to get your driving privileges restored, you have to reapply to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) after the end of the revocation period. This includes payment of any fees and penalties.

Some drivers may be eligible for a conditional driver's license. This allows for limited driving privileges during the revocation period, such as to and from work, school, or childcare.

Penalties for Refusing a Chemical Test

Refusing to give a breath, blood, urine, or saliva test after a DWI arrest can result in the revocation of your license, even if the driver is totally sober. New York's “implied consent” laws mean that your right to drive can be taken away simply for refusing a chemical test. This is an administrative penalty, as opposed to a crime, that is handed down by the Department of Motor Vehicles.

A first offense chemical test refusal can result in a 1-year revocation of your driver's license (18 months if you have a CDL). Some drivers think that if they don't give the police a breath test, there will be no evidence of impairment. However, the prosecutor can still bring criminal charges even if the driver refused a chemical test.

Hudson Valley DWI Defense Lawyer

If you are arrested for a first offense DWI in the Hudson Valley or New York State, contact me and my legal team for a free consultation on how we can fight the charges against you and keep your license to drive.

Contact Us Today

In criminal defense and personal injury cases, timing is everything. Give us a call at (854) 787-4757 today to weigh your legal options and to get acquainted with our team.

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