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It’s illegal to drive under the influence of alcohol and other drugs in New York, and there are laws and penalties to help reduce cases of drunk driving.

A conviction depends on your alcohol levels and whether you have used it with other drugs. Additionally, if you are a suspect in driving under the influence, an officer can stop you and conduct the necessary test.

If you face drunk driving charges, you either pay the fine, face a jail term or get a license revocation for a few months. Let’s check in detail the penalties for drunk driving in New York.

But first:

How is Drunk Driving Determined in New York?

If you are a suspect of drunk driving, you will undergo some test to check your blood alcohol concentration which should be at 0.08%, which means 80mg in every 1ooml of blood. There are two types of chemical testing for DWI, and they include:

1. Breath Testing

what are the penalties for driving under the influence


In the test, the law officer uses a breathalyzer machine to check alcohol levels on your breath. They use the estimates to determine whether the levels are suitable for driving before exposing everyone to drunk driving risks.

2. Blood Testing

Drunk Driving Penalties in NY


It’s the only method to measure your BAC levels directly using a blood sample drawn from your body and analyzed by a lab technician or a qualified medical professional. Most results are accurate and are used by law enforcers as evidence in DWI cases.

3 Field Sobriety Test

Besides the chemical test and use of a breathalyzer, the officer can use some sobriety tests to test your intoxication levels. Even if the method provides fair results, it helps prevent further driving after conviction.

Walk or run is a standard sobriety test where the officer asks you to run. Since alcohol impairs your ability to divide your attention and when under the influence, you will barely focus on running with balance. Standing on one leg is another standard test that helps evaluate your intoxication by how you can compose yourself when standing.

3 Drunk Driving Penalties You Ought to Know

In New York, the penalties are strict, and you must do everything to ensure you are on the right side of the law.

Let’s check what you will face if you drink and drive.

1. Fines

how much is the fine for driving under the influence


When guilty of drunk driving, the law states the fines you are supposed to pay. There are many ways to earn a penalty, depending on your alcohol level. Furthermore, if driving while intoxicated and the BAC is above .08, there is other evidence you get a mandatory fine between $1000 and $2500.

Suppose it’s the second aggregate driver with influence in 10 years of driving; you get a fine between $1000 and 5000. The third aggregate DWI also receives the same penalty as the second one. However, if the third AGG DWI is combined with drug abuse, the fines are up to $10,000.

The zero-tolerance law for underage drivers will earn a driver under the influence a $125 penalty with $100 for suspension termination. Chemical test refusal will earn you a $500 fine and $550 for commercial drivers.

2. Jail Term

what are the penalties for a dui


When unable to pay the fine for driving with the influence, you earn a jail term, and in some cases, you earn both. If you are caught driving under the influence of alcohol, you will get a maximum of a one-year jail term. On the other hand, if it’s an E felony, you get a four-year jail term. A 7 years jail term comes when you have the third AGG DWI in 10 years.

3. License Revocation

Imagine investing your time and money in your driving classes to get a revocation for something you can avoid. With the zero-tolerance law, the suspension can last for six months, and for the second time, you can get a revocation for one year or until you get to 21.

Suppose you refuse to take the chemical test to determine the alcohol level in your body for five years within the previous charge. In that case, your license is revoked for at least 18 months, and commercial drivers get a permanent revocation of their CDL.

Note that more significant penalties may apply if you violate the rules within 25 years. Remember that surcharges are available for alcohol-related felonies and misdemeanors, varying with court convictions.

If you have three or more refusals to take a test or an alcohol-related conviction, you can earn a permanent driver’s license revocation, which you can get the waiver after five years.

What is The Difference Between DWAI and DWI?

DWI means driving while intoxicated, and it revolves around the alcohol content, which must be below .08, and a legal limit of .04 for commercial drivers.

DWI has three categories, the first DWI with a one-year jail term, a $1000 maximum fine, and six months license revocation. The second one within ten years means a class E felony that earns you a $5000 maximum fine or four years imprisonment.

The third DWI is a class D felony within ten years with a $10000 fine and a maximum of 7 years of imprisonment. An AGG DWI is when a driver’s BAC is .18 and above, and its penalty is higher than the DWI.

DWAI is when driving while ability impaired with alcohol where a driver can be charged with a lesser alcohol content between .05 and less than .07. Its maximum fine for the first offense is $500, 90 days for license revocation, and up to 15 days in jail.

Lastly, if you get a second DWAI within five years, you get a $750 fine, and the jail term increases to five years. The third one within ten years means a $1500 fine or 180 days in jail.

Can You “Plea Bargain” To Evade a Conviction or Penalty for Drunk Driving?

No. It’s against the law to plea bargain drug and alcohol-related violations. You can only get a lawyer to defend you in such cases.

Wrap Up

Driving under the influence of alcohol is a severe offense and can earn you a permanent revocation of your license. It’s risky for you and other people using the road, especially at night. Underage drivers should note that there’s a non-tolerance law for drunk driving. 

Our driving school ensures everyone knows drunk driving penalties, and our instructors encourage students to keep off the bottle. Enroll now and invest in your future behind the wheel.