Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a criminal offense in New York State which can bring jail time, fines, loss of driving privileges and other related costs. Once you have consumed alcohol, there is no quick way to get sober.

A driver’s judgment and coordination, as well as their ability to drive, is affected when they consume any amount of alcohol, even if it’s less than the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08%. The level of impairment depends upon:

  • How much alcohol was consumed
  • How much food was consumed before or while drinking
  • How long alcohol was consumed
  • Bodyweight
  • Gender

Potential charges for New York drivers

If suspected of DWI in New York State, you could face several charges depending upon the circumstances, including:

  • DWI: 0.08% BAC or higher or other evidence of intoxication. For commercial drivers, charges can happen if BAC exceeds 0.04% or other proof of intoxication exists
  • Aggravated DWI: 0.18% BAC or higher
  • DWAI/Alcohol: Driving while ability impaired by alcohol for a BAC higher than 0.05% but less than 0.07%
  • DWAI/Drug: Driving while ability impaired by a single drug other than alcohol
  • DWAI/Combination: Driving while ability impaired by a combined influence of drugs and/or alcohol
  • Chemical test refusal: A driver who refuses a chemical test faces a $500 fine and a revoked license for six months
  • Zero Tolerance Law: A driver under the age of 21 whose BAC is 0.02% to 0.07%

Seek legal help if charged with DWI

Penalties for a DWI conviction can affect you for the rest of your life. A first-time offense brings a $500 fine and up to one year in jail, while a third DWI brings fines of up to $10,000, up to seven years in jail and a revoked license for seven years.

DWI convictions can force your insurance rates to double or triple, and in some cases, your insurance company will drop you, making it harder and more expensive to find coverage. An experienced defense attorney here in New York will protect your rights and make sure officers followed correct procedures which can result in dropped or reduced charges.