New York DWI Laws & Penalties

New York Drunk Driving Laws Explained in Easy-to-Understand Simple Terms

Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) is considered an offense in New York with severe consequences. It is crucial for all drivers in New York to understand the DWI laws and the potential repercussions they might encounter to comply with regulations and safeguard their driving privileges. This guide provides an overview of New York’s DWI laws, penalties, and key considerations for individuals facing charges.

Explaining DWI Laws in New York

In New York DWI pertains to operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The state implements these laws to discourage driving and promote road safety.

Limits on Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC)

  • New York sets BAC thresholds to determine when a driver is deemed impaired;
  • Drivers: BAC of 0.08% or above.
  • Commercial Drivers: BAC of 0.04% or higher.
  • Drivers Under 21: Subject to Zero Tolerance Law for any BAC level.

Ramifications of DWI

For First time DWI Offenses:

  • Fines ranging between $500 and $1,000.
  • Imprisonment for up to one year.
  • Minimum six month license suspension.

Consequences, for Repeat Offenses:

  • Increased fines and extended jail sentences.
  • One year license suspension.

Being identified as a repeat offender could lead to consequences. Situations that could make things worse include having convictions, for driving under the influence (DUI) driving with a suspended license or having a child in the car.

When someone is convicted of DUI their driving privileges are often taken away affecting their ability to get around and complete tasks. Additionally individuals in New York who are convicted of DUI may be required to install ignition interlock devices in their vehicles, which adds to the challenges associated with a DUI charge.

There are options to challenge DUI charges, such as questioning the accuracy of blood alcohol concentration (BAC) tests or the legality of traffic stops. It is important to seek advice from a lawyer who has experience handling DUI cases.

Facing DUI charges can be daunting. Legal representation can help in understanding your rights exploring defense strategies and potentially reducing penalties.

Common questions

What are the legal BAC limits for drivers in New York?

  • Regular Drivers; BAC 0.08% or higher.
  • Commercial Drivers; BAC 0.04% or higher.
  • Drivers under 21; Zero tolerance, for any BAC.

How long can my drivers license be suspended after a DWI conviction, in New York? License suspensions can range from a minimum of 6 months for an offense to durations for subsequent violations or aggravating circumstances. What are the rules regarding the use of ignition interlock devices in New York? Individuals required to install these devices are responsible for the costs. Must follow the courts instructions for least 6 months following their conviction. Failure to comply could result in penalties. The Department of Motor Vehicles may conduct procedures, including license revocation hearings alongside DWI convictions in New York along with charges. It is important to have representation, during both processes.


  • New York State DMV; https;//
  • New York State Laws and Regulations; https;//
Additional New York DWI Resources
  • New York DUI First Offense – Detailed first offense information including punishments after a first offense DWI in New York.
  • New York DUI Classes – Get signed up to complete your required DWI class online today.
  • 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 New York SR22 insurance.
  • New York DUI Lawyers – Contact one of our New York DWI lawyers today to discuss your pending DWI case.
  • New York Bail Bond Agents – Contact an New York bail bond agent to get out of jail now.
  • New York Non-owner Insurance – If you need an SR-22 filing, but don’t own a vehicle, you need to get a non-owner policy.