The act of driving a motor vehicle while intoxicated is a serious criminal offense in New York. Drivers who are found to have illegal limits of alcohol or drugs in their system while operating vehicles can face lengthy jail sentences and high monetary fines among other penalties.
The best way to avoid getting a DUI in New York is by knowing what the legal blood alcohol content limits are. Drivers can also benefit by learning what kinds of penalties that they can receive after being found guilty of DUI in New York.
DUI in New York
New York actually uses several definitions to categorize driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The two most common acronyms, DWI and DWAI, come with significant legal punishments that can take away a person’s privilege of driving and land him or her behind bars.
DWI in New York stands for Driving While Intoxicated. It involves driving a motor vehicle including recreational vehicles like mopeds or scooters with a blood alcohol content or BAC of 0.08 percent or higher.
The acronym DWAI stands for Driving While Ability Impaired. It involves operating a vehicle with the presence of drugs or alcohol in the driver’s blood. However, the person’s BAC limit is below 0.08 percent. A DWAI carries with it legal penalties that rival those meted out for DWI in New York.
New York also has a zero-tolerance law for underage drivers. Drivers under the age of 21 can be arrested for DWI if their BACs are 0.02 percent to 0.07 percent.
The state also allows for a DWI to be charged as an aggravated offense if the driver’s BAC is 0.18 percent or higher. An aggravated DWI comes with harsher legal penalties and longer jail terms.
DWI Penalties in New York
The penalties for DWI in New York reflect the driver’s prior DWI history. A first DWI conviction in New York typically results in:
- A fine of $500 to $1000
- A jail term of up to one year
- Revoked license for up to six months
A first-time DWI offender in New York will not have to use an ignition interlock device or IID on his or her vehicle.
A second DWI conviction within the last 10 years leads to penalties like:
- Installation of an IID on the offender’s vehicle
- Fines of $1000 to $5000
- Revoked license for one year
- Jail sentence of four years with a minimum of five days served with 30 days community service
A third DWI conviction within 10 years in New York results in:
- Use of an IID on the offender’s vehicle
- One year to permanent revocation of the driver’s license
- Seven years in jail with a minimum 10 days served and 60 days community service
- A fine of $2000 to $10,000
DWAI Penalties in New York
New York also punishes DWAI with similar penalties. A first DWAI results in a fine of $300 to $500, up to 15 days in jail, and a 90-day license suspension.
A second DWAI leads to a fine of $500 to $750 and a minimum jail sentence of 30 days. The driver’s license can also be suspended for six months.
A third DWAI results in a fine of $750 to $1000 and a jail sentence of up to 180 days. The driver can also have his or her license suspended for one year.
Aggravated DWI Penalties in New York
New York permits DWIs to be charged as aggravated offenses if the driver’s BAC is 0.18 percent or higher. The penalties for an aggravated DWI are the same for non-aggravated DWIs with the exception for the period of time for which the driver’s license will be suspended.
A first-time aggravated DWI conviction leads to the suspension of one’s license for a minimum of one year while a second aggravated DWI leads to the license being suspended for at least 18 months. If the third aggravated DWI is committed within 10 years of the second, the driver can lose his or her license permanently.
New York uses DWI and DWAI to define the offense of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The penalties for both are similar and can lead to lengthy jail terms and steep monetary fines. Drivers can also be charged with aggravated DWI if their BACs are significantly higher than the 0.08 percent minimum for DWI in New York.
New Mexico uses a variety of laws to discourage motorists from driving while intoxicated. Drivers who are licensed in the state as well as those who visit from other states are subject to these laws.
The penalties include civil fines, loss of drivers’ licenses and jail terms. Drivers also can be ordered to use ignition interlock devices on their vehicles for a period of time determined by the court.