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New York DWI Laws & Penalties

New York drunk driving laws are strict, complex, and ever-changing. While they explain when driving while ability impaired (DWAI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) charges can be filed in New York, they also set forth a number of penalties in the event of conviction. Understanding how these New York DWI laws and penalties work is crucial for the accused. So is strategic defense representation from Westchester County DWI Lawyer Michael J. Borrelli.

With more than 25 years’ experience in criminal law, Attorney Michael J. Borrelli has deep knowledge of New York DWI laws, as well as established relationships with the courts and police in Westchester County. That can make all of the difference when it’s time for a strong defense against drunk driving charges in New York. In fact, it can be the key to protecting your rights and bringing a DWI case to a favorable resolution.

New York DWI Laws

New York DWI laws establish different legal limits for different motorists, based on their age and the type of driver’s license an individual has. The following table shows the blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) at which different types of DWI charges in New York can be filed, according to state law.

DWI Offense BAC Explanation
Underage DWI 0.02% New York’s Zero Tolerance Law prohibits motorists who are younger than 21 from having any alcohol in their systems.
DWAI Greater than 0.05% but less than 0.08% While a DWAI can be less serious than a DWI case, a conviction can still lead to license
DWI 0.08% A first-time DWI is typically charged as a misdemeanor in New York.
DWI with a CDL 0.04% This BAC limit applies regardless of whether a CDL holder is driving on or off the clock.
Aggravated DWI 0.18% or more Higher BACs can bring more serious charges and potential penalties, even for a first-time DWI.

New York Implied Consent Law

The Implied Consent law is a little-known DWI law in New York. Applicable to all motorists, this statute requires any driver in the state to submit to chemical testing if a law enforcement officer requests it during a traffic stop. As the New York Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) explains:

Under New York's "Implied Consent" law, when you drive a car in this state you are considered to have already given your consent to take this type of test.

For drivers, this means that refusing to submit to chemical testing during a traffic stop can result in automatic penalties even if:

  • DWI charges are never filed.
  • The charges are eventually dropped or dismissed.
  • The DWI case ends in an acquittal.

These penalties include a fine and a license suspension or revocation, the term of which will depend on the circumstances involved. The following table outlines the different penalties for chemical test refusals that violate the New York Implied Consent law.

Refusal Fines License Suspension
1st Refusal or

Refusal from an underage driver

$500 1 year
2nd Refusal $750 18 months
3rd or Subsequent Refusal
(“Habitual Offenders”)
$750 Indefinite revocation, with the ability to apply for reinstatement after 5 years

In addition to the above fines, motorists will also be required to pay a $100 license reinstatement fee, as well as a $250 Driver Responsibility Assessment (DRA) fee. The DRA fee must be paid annually for three years.

New York DWI Penalties

DWI penalties in New York can come into play when someone pleads guilty, accepts a plea deal, or is convicted of a drunk driving offense after a trial. The nature of these penalties can vary widely, based on several factors, like prior DWI convictions and any aggravating factors involved in the incident. Aggravating factors can include especially high BACs, DUI accidents, and/or other criminal offenses allegedly involved in the incident. The table below shows the range of sentences that courts can impose for New York DWIs.

DWI Conviction Jail or Prison Fines Administrative Penalties
1st DWI

(misdemeanor)

Up to 1 year $500 to $1,000 6-month license suspension
2nd DWI

(misdemeanor)

4 Years $1,000 to $5,000 1-year license suspension
3rd DWI

(felony)

7 Years $2,000 to $10,000 Permanent license revocation

The best way to avoid these penalties and minimize the chances of a drunk driving conviction is to retain Mamaroneck DWI Attorney Michael J. Borrelli.

Find Out Your Best Defense Options: Contact Mamaroneck DWI Lawyer Michael J. Borrelli

When you need a persuasive, effective defense against DWI or DWAI charges in Mamaroneck, contact Westchester County DWI Lawyer Michael J. Borrelli. He is the experienced advocate you rely on for superior DWI defense representation when it’s time to protect your rights and future while fighting for the best possible outcome.

Call (914) 825-8620 or contact us online for a FREE, confidential DWI defense consultation. We offer consultations 24/7.

The sooner you have DWI Attorney Borrelli in your corner, the better. He can help you deal with police while determining your best defense options, crafting a strong case, and guiding you at every step ahead. Committed to helping people just like you, Attorney Borrelli is proud to offer first-class, personalized service, so you are never confused, anxious, or under pressure when it’s time to go to court. That can give you confidence and peace of mind when it’s time to face prosecutors and juries. It can also give you optimal chances of obtaining a favorable resolution.

Get answers about your best defense options against drunk driving charges in a FREE consultation.


Get a 24/7, free consultation from an experienced New York Law Specialist today!

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