Facing DWI charges in New York can be a stressful affair. DWI laws are often very strictly written and cops on the road will enforce them just as strictly. New York law actually breaks down the offense of driving while intoxicated into several different types of offenses that depend on a person's level of intoxication and what substances are impairing them. If a person is convicted of any of these DWI offenses, their sentencing will be more lenient or severe depending on the level of the offense.
DWI Penalties in New York
Because New York has several categories of DWI charges, the penalties may vary. New York's various DWI penalties are as follows.
For a person driving with a blood alcohol content of .08% or above, they will face DWI charges. This is a misdemeanor crime.
- First Offense: The fines will be between $500 and $1,000, a surcharge of $395 if you are in City Court, or $400 if you are in a Town or Village Court. One could also face possible jail time up to one year, or either two to three years probation. A license suspension for a minimum of six months will also be imposed along with the installation of an ignition interlock device for a minimum of six months on any motor vehicle that they own or may operate. On top of these penalties, a driver will be required to pay a responsibility assessment fee of $250 for three consecutive years to the Department of Motor Vehicles.
- Second Offense (within 10 years): A defendant will be required to pay fines between $500 and $1,000 and will face up to four years in jail. A license suspension for at least one year will also be imposed.
- Third and Subsequent Offenses (within 10 years): The fines for a third or subsequent offense nearly double, as they're between $2,000 and $10,000. The jail sentence is lengthened to a maximum of seven years in jail and a license suspension for at least one year.
Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI)
Driving while your ability to do so is impaired by alcohol is a lesser version of DWI, for individuals who have a blood alcohol content between .05% and .07%. This is a traffic infraction and not a crime.
- First Offense: A DWAI offense can be punished by fines between $300 and $500, a surcharge of $255 if the case is in City Court, or $260 if you are in a Town or Village Court, jail time up to 15 days, and your driver's license will be suspended for 90 days. Paying a driver responsibility assessment fee of $250 for three consecutive years to the Department of Motor Vehicles.
- Second Offense: The enhanced penalties for a second DWAI include up to 30 days in jail, fines between $500 and $750, and at least a six-month license revocation.
Drug Impaired DWAI
Driving while ability impaired by drugs carries the same penalties as a DWI first offense alcohol conviction; however, the mandatory surcharge is $370 if the case is in a City Court or $375 if it is in a Town or Village Court. There is no requirement to install an ignition interlock device on any motor vehicle that you own or may operate.
Commercial Driver DWI
Commercial drivers can also be charged with DWI or DWAI; however, the difference is that the BAC level is lower than what is required for regular drivers. It is against the law for a CDL operator to have a BAC of .04% or above. The penalties are more severe for a holder of a CDL. If convicted of even DWAI the person's CDL will be revoked for a minimum of one year.
When a person's blood alcohol content is .18% or above they will be charged with an aggravated DWI.
- First Offense: The penalties are similar to a standard DWI; however the fines are higher as they will be between $1,000 and $2,500, and their license will be revoked for a minimum of one year.
- Second Offense: This charge warrants up to four years in jail and a fine between $1,000 and $5,000. Probation may also be imposed for up to three years, along with an 18-month driver's license revocation. Required attendance to a Victim Impact Panel may be enforced if applicable.
Zero Tolerance Law
A driver who is less than 21 years of age and who drives with a BAC of between .02% to .07% faces administrative penalties from the Department of Motor Vehicles. Their license will be suspended for six months, they will pay a $125 civil penalty, and pay a $100 fee to terminate their suspension.
Hudson Valley DWI Defense
DWI charges carry heavy penalties, as well as the ability to suspend or revoke your license. This can severely impact your way of life and means of transportation. If you or a loved one is facing DWI charges in New York, the Law Office of Kenneth Puig can help. Contact us today to get a consultation on your case.