New York First Offense DWI Laws

New York DWI

New York State has several versions of a drunk driving offense. While it is always illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or higher, in New York, you can also be charged with a crime for driving with a BAC as low as 0.05. A police officer's testimony about your driving and/or behavior can be enough to convict you of a crime, even if you don't take a chemical blood or breath alcohol test.

If you have been arrested for any drinking and driving offense, the first thing you will want to do is contact an experienced New York DWI lawyer. New York DWI law is complicated, and you do not want to try to figure it out alone. Also, a DWI conviction is expensive, and hiring a lawyer may well save you money in the end.

New York DWI First Offense Penalties

In New York, you can be charged with any of the following:

Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI) - more than 0.05 but less than 0.08 BAC
First Offense: $300-$500 fine, up to 15 days in jail, 90 day license suspension

Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) - 0.08 up to 0.17 BAC

Driving With a Blood Alcohol Content of 0.08 or more (0.08 BAC)

Driving While Impaired by Combined Alcohol and Drugs (DWAI)
First Offense: $500 to $1000 fine, up to 1 year in jail, 6 month license revocation

Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated (Agg-DWI) - 0.18 or higher BAC
First Offense: $1000-$2000 fine, up to 1 year in jail, 1 year license revocation

If the courts find you guilty of any alcohol-related driving offense, your driver's license will be suspended or revoked as soon as you are sentenced. Even if you are granted a 20-day continuation of your driving privilege, the license itself will still be taken away that day.

Leandra's Law:

Leandra's Law was signed into law in November of 2009. It states that a person convicted of DWI after August 15, 2010 (even a first offense) must have an ignition interlock device (IID) installed on any vehicle that he or she owns or operates. In addition, anyone convicted of DWI will have an "ignition interlock" restriction added to his or her driver's license. This is a 6-month long requirement. The convicted person is responsible for all costs associated with the ignition interlock, including installation ($100), monthly service ($100), and removal ($100).

Leandra's Law also states that you can be charged with an Aggravated DWI if you have a child, under the age of 16, in the vehicle at the time of your arrest. This is now a Class E Felony and is punishable by up to 4 years in State prison. You may also be reported to the Statewide Central Register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment.

New York and SR22 Insurance:

Many states require DWI offenders to purchase SR22 insurance. This is a special, high-risk insurance that proves to the State that a driver is fully insured. At this time, New York State does not require SR22 insurance. However, if you relocated to the state and were required to maintain an SR22 filing with your previous state of resident, you will be required to file an SR22 with the New York DMV.



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Additional New York DWI Resources

  • New York DWI Laws - A complete overview of New York DWI laws including fines, jail time and penalties for each offense.

  • New York SR22 Insurance -  Learn everything you need to know about New York SR22 filing requirements with the DMV and find out how you can save hundreds of dollars each year on your NY SR22 insurance.

  • New York DWI Lawyers -   Contact one of our New York DWI lawyers today.

  • New York Alcohol Screening & Evaluation Programs - We offer a complete listing of New York's approved alcohol screening & evaluation programs.