New York DUI Laws

New York DUI Details

The first step in understanding various state driving violations is to first understand how they specify these charges. When it comes to driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol New York has several distinct categories. In most states, DUI is driving under the influence. New York uses the classification of DWI which is driving while intoxicated or DWAI which is driving while ability is impaired.

Each of these offenses carries their own sets of fines and penalties. Although a DWAI is often treated as a minor traffic infraction based on the level of impairment of the driver, there can still be severe consequences for repeat offenses and for driving with a minor.

New York DWI Penalties

In New York, you are considered to be driving while intoxicated if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08 or higher. The tolerance for a driver under the age of 21 is lowered to a BAC of .02. For commercial vehicle drivers that level is .04. For a first time DWI conviction, you are facing up to one year in jail, six months of having your license suspended and a fine as high as $1,000. You will also have to be subjected to an alcohol screening or evaluation. This first offense is classified as a misdemeanor in New York.

A second DWI conviction bumps up to a Class E felony and carries a possible jail time of anywhere from five days to up to four years. You’ll also have to perform 30 days of community service, pay a fine of up to $5,000 and will have your license suspended for one year. You will also be required to install an ignition interlock device that will measure your BAC every time you want to start your car.

With a third DWI conviction, you’ll be charged with a Class D felony and could spend anywhere from ten days to seven years in prison. You’ll also be performing 60 days of community service and paying a possible fine of up to $10,000. A second DWI conviction also comes with a one year suspended license and the mandatory installation of an ignition interlock.

New York Leandra’s Law

The New York legislature recently passed a new level of DWI conviction penalties referred to as Leandra’s Law. These specifically deal with anyone who is convicted of a DWI but has the special circumstance of driving with a minor under the age of 16 at the time of the offense. For a first time offense under this law your will be charged with a Class E felony and face a fine of up to $5,000 and possible jail time of up to five years.

Additionally, under this law if you cause the death of a minor under the age of 16 while driving under the influence, you will be charged with aggravated vehicular manslaughter which is a Class B violent felony.

New York DWI Implied Consent Law

New York drivers operate under an implied consent law. This means when you were given a New York state driver’s license you implied to be subjected to any form of DWI testing when asked by a police officer. If you refuse to comply to this testing you face an automatic license suspension of up to one year and a fine of $750.

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