New York DWI Laws For First-Time Offenders

New York authorities take drinking and driving offenses very seriously. Drivers in New York should be aware of the state's driving while intoxicated laws and the potential penalties drivers face for a first DWI conviction.

Driving While Intoxicated

For most drivers in New York, the blood alcohol concentration at which the law presumes a person too intoxicated to drive is 0.08 percent. For those driving commercial motor vehicles, the limit is 0.04 percent. A DWI conviction is a Class A misdemeanor in New York.

New York law considers driving with a BAC of 0.18 or higher an aggravated DWI.

However, police do not need to know a driver's BAC to arrest the driver for suspicion of DWI if the driver shows other evidence of impairment.

Driving While Ability Impaired by Alcohol

Drivers with BACs below 0.08 percent still may face criminal charges. The state can charge a driver with a BAC above 0.05 percent to 0.07 percent with driving while ability impaired by alcohol. The limit for drivers of commercial vehicles and drivers under 21 years old for DWAI/Alcohol is 0.02 percent.

Penalties for a First DWI Conviction

The penalties for a first DWI conviction in New York can be quite severe. Drivers face:

  • A possible jail term of up to one year
  • A mandatory fine of $500 to $1,000
  • A six-month driver's license revocation
  • Police impounding the vehicle

Regaining a Driver's License

In order to obtain conditional driver's licenses after DWI revocation, drivers need to participate in the Drinking Driver Program. In order to be eligible, drivers must meet a number of criteria, including:

  • Providing proof of identification
  • Attending all seven classroom session for a total of 16 hours of instruction
  • Completing a substance abuse evaluation
  • Paying fees associated with the program

Drivers may only use their conditional licenses to drive to and from work, school, DDP classes, treatment appointments, court-directed activities, medical appointments and a child's school or daycare.

Talk to a Lawyer

One bad choice can lead to serious lasting consequences. If you are facing DWI charges, consult an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help defend your rights.

Categories: DWI
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The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

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