In the state of New York, drivers do not have to exhibit signs of impaired driving to be charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI). Under state law, a blood alcohol concentration of .08 percent or higher is per se intoxicated. A driver who is less than 21 years of age can be charged with DWI with a BAC of only .02 percent. All individuals convicted of DWI must undergo an alcohol and drug assessment prior to sentencing, and they must also install an ignition interlock device.
As has occurred in other parts of the country, those arrested in New York for DWI face more severe penalties include heavy fines, license revocation, imprisonment, and mandatory substance abuse evaluations and treatment. New York has joined other states in imposing stricter penalties for those under the age of 21 and for drivers with high blood alcohol concentrations as revealed by breath, blood, or urine testing. A prior alcohol-related conviction will also subject a driver to higher fines, longer periods of confinement in jail or prison, longer license revocation periods, and possible forfeiture of the vehicle the person was driving at the time of the violation.
New York implied consent laws affect all drivers in the state. Essentially, the laws state that by operating a motor vehicle on New York roads, drivers have automatically consented to a BAC test if an officer believes they are driving while intoxicated. If a driver refuses to take the test, he or she can be penalized with a license suspension of up to a year for a first offense. Refusals on subsequent stops result in an 18-month license suspension.
First offense DWI Penalties
A person convicted of DWI as a first offense misdemeanor with a BAC that is less than .18 percent is subject to New York DWI penalties of up to one year in jail, fines ranging from $500 to $1,000, and a minimum license revocation of six months.
Aggravated driving while intoxicated can be charged when a person’s BAC is .18 percent or higher. A first offense is a misdemeanor with fines from $1,000 to $2,500, up to a year in jail, and a minimum license revocation of one year.
Second offense DWI penalties
A second DWI conviction within 10 years of the first is a Class E felony punishable by fines of $1,000 to $5,000, a minimum jail sentence of five days or 30 days of community service up to four years in prison, and revocation of a license to drive for at least one year. A second aggravated DWI offense within five years has similar penalties as a second DWI except for the maximum fine increases to $5,000 and the revocation period is at least 18 months.
Third offense DWI Penalties
A third DWI within 10 years is a Class D felony punishable by fines of $2,000 to $10,000, up to seven years in prison, and license revocation of at least one year. A conviction for aggravated DWI results in essentially the same sentence as a third offense DWI, but the revocation period is at least 18 months.