New York Rules on DWI Charges

New York is one the States that’s known for its legislative in-house members who are ever competent when it comes to passing even the strangest of state laws. For example, it’s illegal in NY to keep more than $10 you find on the street or even weird- giving a haircut on Sunday! This is just but how things can work against you in NY. The legal landscape has been evolving since the early 1900s and today, DWI charges top the list of the commonly broken laws in the State.

In New York, DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) is the legal term for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or narcotics/drugs. According to Noonan Law, based in the southern tier of NY, a DWI conviction can bring with it severe consequences besides the possible jail sentence. Some of the adverse outcomes could include restrictions on your ability to drive, limitations on your daily job or even the ability to provide for your family.


Judge Dan Hinde

This makes it a priority for any suspect of DWI or DWAI in New York State to consider seeking attorney services from an experienced DWI defense advocate. If you’re living in New York and you’re not so sure about the DWI charges; then it’s only wise to have a good understanding of the law before getting behind the wheels. Here is a breakdown of all you need to know.

The three charges associated with DWI

Once you fall victim of DWI on any of the State’s public roads; the prosecution can charge you with any of the following; standard DWI, aggravated DWI and the DWAI. Each of these charges comes with its own penalties.

1. Standard DWI

If you’re driving and the blood alcohol content, commonly the BAC level is at or above 0.08 percent; then you qualify for up to a year in jail, fine of up to $1,000, or both. A driver’s license revocation for at least 6 months also applies. These are the penalties for first-offense of DWI. For second standard DWI offense, a jail term of up to 10 years, a fine of up to $5, 000 or both and driver’s license revocation for at least 12 months applies.



It’s important to note, however; that the 0.08 percent limit only applies to persons above the age of 21. For drivers under 21, the limit is 0.02 percent- similar to that of drivers operating with a commercial driver’s license, (CDL).

2. Aggravated DWI

If the BAC level is at 0.18 percent or higher while driving, then you can be charged with aggravated DWI. For first-offense of this charge, penalties include up to a year behind bars, a fine of up to $2,500, or both and license revocation for at least 12 months. A second aggravated DWI offense recorded within ten years of first conviction attracts a fine of up to $5,000, 4 years in jail and revocation of driver’s license for at least 18 months.


This acronym stands for Driving while ability impaired and can be charged in two ways. One, is driving while the ability is impaired by drugs and the other while the ability is impaired by alcohol. When the driver’s BAC level measures anywhere from 0.05 percent to 0.07 percent; this type of DWI is charged. DWAI by alcohol is more often considered a traffic offense (and attracts penalties similar to driving while intoxicated) as compared to DWAI by drugs which is considered a crime.

A first DWAI by alcohol attracts penalties of up to 15 days in jail, a mandatory $260 surcharge & a fine of up to $ 500 or both. The driver’s license is also suspended for a period of 3 months.

DWAI by drugs is a criminal offense which attracts penalties (for first time convictions) of up to 1 year in jail, a fine of up to $1,000, or both. The driver’s license is also suspended for at least 6 months. When this same offense is reported within 10 years of the first conviction, it’s punishable by a period of up to 4 years in jail, a fine of up to $5,000 or both and driver’s license suspension for at least 12 months.

Other factors to consider

Since implied consent is a law in New York, a driver is under obligation to use a breathalyzer for the purpose of checking his/her BAC. If a driver refuses to use a breathalyzer, he/she will be fined $500 and the license revoked for a period not less than 12 months. For commercial drivers, a fine of $ 550 and license revocation of a period not less than 18 months applies.

New York laws on DWI charges represents some of the strict state laws that have been passed in various parts of the United States. Before proceeding to the courtroom, it’s always recommended to consult an experienced DWI attorney for guidance & proper representation and to exploit some of the loopholes created on the prosecution side.

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