New York DWI Laws

Learn about the penalties for a DUI/DWI conviction in New York.

Need Professional Help? Talk to a Local Defense Attorney.

Enter Your Zip Code to Connect with a Lawyer Serving Your Area

searchbox small

What are the penalties for a DUI/DWI in New York?


1st Offense

2nd Offense

3rd Offense

Jail

Up to 1 year

Up to 4 years

Up to 7 years

Fines and Penalties

$500 to $1,000

$1,000 to $5,000

$2,000 to $10,000

License Suspension

Min. 6 months

Min. 1 year

Min. 1 year

IID** Required

No

Yes

Yes

Lookback Period: 5 years (Period of time that prior DWIs are relevant for sentencing.)

**Ignition Interlock Device

How much do you have to drink (BAC*) for a DWI in New York?

Under 21

.02%

21 or older

.08%

Commercial

.04%

**BAC = blood alcohol content

How many drinks does it take? Check the BAC chart.

You may want to try our BAC Calculator, however I wouldn't let any results encourage you to drink and drive.

What if you refuse to take a chemical test in New York?

New York has an implied consent law. That means that if you refuse to submit to a chemical test you will be subject to a fine and automatic license suspension. Learn more about New York’s implied consent law.

 

1st Offense

2d offense

3rd Offense

Refusal to take test

1 year license suspension

18 month license suspension

18 month license suspension

Disclaimer: We try to keep the information provided here up to date. However, laws often change, as do their interpretation and application. Different jurisdictions within a state may enforce the laws in different ways. For that reason, we recommended that you seek the advice of a local attorney familiar with DUI cases in your area.

Can you plead to a lesser offense than DWI in New York?

No, a plea bargain for a conviction of "wet reckless" (reckless driving involving alcohol) is barred by statute in New York.

Drunk Driving Laws in New York

  • All drivers with a BAC of .08 or higher.
  • Under 21 with a BAC of .02 or higher.
  • Commercial Vehicle Driver with a BAC of .04 or higher.

How many drinks does it take to reach the legal limit in New York? There are charts and calculators that can help you determine how many drinks it would take to become legally drunk, however there are variables that these tools do not take into consideration that may play a role in your individual BAC level. It is safe to say that for each drink you take, you get that much closer to driving while intoxicated.

The best answer is not to drink and drive. The State of New York has strict laws for drunk driving, and when you drink and drive in New York, you risk your freedom, finances and your future.

Your first conviction for driving while intoxicated (DWI) in the State of New York with a BAC of .08 percent or higher is a misdemeanor. You will be fined from $500 to $1,000 and you could spend up to 1 year in jail. Your drivers license will be suspended for a minimum of 6 months and you will be ordered to pay a mandatory conviction surcharge. You will also be ordered to participate in a drug and alcohol evaluation prior to sentencing.

Your second conviction for a DWI in New York State within 10 years of the first DWI will be a Class E Felony. This felony will cost you a minimum fine of $1,000 or up to $5,000. You will also receive a minimum jail sentence of 10 days in jail or be ordered to perform 60 days of community service.

The minimum 10 day jail sentence can be increased by the court up to 7 years in jail. Your driver license will be revoked for a minimum of 1 year plus you will have to pay for an ignition interlock device that will be placed on your vehicle once your suspension is over. The court will also have you pay for your alcohol assessment.

A 3rd drunk driving conviction in New York is a class D felony. You will be fined a minimum of $2,000 up to $10,000. You could be sentenced up to 7 years in jail, 10 days of which is mandatory.

The court may also order you to serve 60 days of community service. Your driver license will be revoked for a minimum of 1 year plus you will have to pay for an ignition interlock device that will be placed on your vehicle once your suspension is over.

The State of New York prohibits driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent or above. The .08 limit is used throughout the United States as the benchmark for the "impaired" driver. New York State has lower limits for Commercial drivers (.04) and drivers under the age of 21 (.02).

The laws for drivers under 21 are effectively a zero tolerance law and a minor could lose the privilege to drive until they become an adult. The New York law also addresses driving under the influence of drugs, alcohol or both.

The Implied Consent Law in New York

Like other states across the country, New York State has an implied consent law. This law means that all drivers on the roadways of New York agree to submit to a chemical test of their blood, breath or urine of an officer of the law suspects the driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If you refuse such a test you drivers license will be suspended in court and revoked for a minimum of 1 year. You will also be fined $500 on your first refusal and $750 for your second.

New Drunk Driving Laws in New York State

Since 2010, driving while intoxicated (DWI) with a child 15 years of age or younger in the car is now a class E felony (See Felony Classes in New York). Additionally, if the defendant is the parent, custodian or legal guardian of the child in the vehicle, the police are required to file a report with Child Protective Services (CPS).

As of August 15, 2010, defendants convicted of a DWI will be sentenced to probation or a conditional discharge which must be accompanied by the installation and maintenance of an IID in any car owned or operated by the defendant. The installation will continue for the duration of the probation or conditional discharge or for a period of six months, whichever is longer. Additionally, the defendant is responsible for the cost of both installation and maintenance of the device. In the case the defendant is financially unable to bear the costs the court may waive the cost or offer a payment plan.

Leandra's Law Passes State Senate

On November 17th, 2009 S6125 / A9111 (Known as Leandra's Law), Once signed by the Governor of New York will impose the following changes:

  • A person who operates a vehicle while under the influence with a passenger under the age of sixteen would be guilty of a class E felony punishable by a fine of up to five thousand dollars and or a period of imprisonment of up to four years.
  • A person who causes the death of a person under the age of sixteen be charged with the crime of aggravated vehicular homicide and increases the penalty from a class B felony to a class B violent felony.
  • A person who causes serious physical injury to a person under the age of sixteen be charged with the crime of aggravated vehicular assault and increases the penalty from a class C felony to a class C violent felony.

by: , Attorney

Talk to a Lawyer

Start here to find defense attorneys near you.
HOW IT WORKS
how it works 1
Briefly tell us about your case
how it works 2
Provide your contact information
how it works 1
Choose attorneys to contact you
LA-NOLO1:DRU.1.6.2.20140813.27175