What Are the DWI/DUI Penalties in New York State?

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The penalties for a first, second or third offense of driving while intoxicated (DWI) in New York State include a term of incarceration; a term of probation; a monetary fine; court costs; a period of driver’s license revocation; the requirement to pay a driver responsibility assessment of at least $250 a year for three years; a requirement to install an ignition interlock device (IID) for a certain period; and the cost of the IID, according to the New York Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Further, the DMV provides the driver responsibility assessment can be greater if the individual accumulated more than six points during 18 months.

There may also be additional penalties, including payment of probation fees; urine test fees; completion of an alcohol assessment; completion of substance abuse treatment, which can cost money; and mandatory attendance at a Victim Impact Panel (VIP), which usually costs money. New York defines DWI as driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher.

Driving While Ability Is Impaired by Alcohol

New York has a second type of offense involving drunk driving. This is driving while ability is impaired by alcohol (DWAI). For this offense, an individual will have a BAC above 0.05 but less than 0.07 percent or demonstrate other evidence of impairment. The penalties for a first, second or third offense of DWAI in New York include a term of incarceration, monetary fine, court costs and a period of driver’s license suspension or revocation. All of the penalties for DWAIs are less severe than the penalties for DWIs.

What Is an Aggravated DWI?

An aggravated DWI is driving with a BAC of 0.18 percent or above. The penalties for an aggravated DWI include a term of incarceration, a monetary fine and revocation of a driver’s license. These penalties are more serious than the ones for a standard DWI. According to the DMV, the penalties for an aggravated DWI range from a maximum jail sentence of one year for a first-time aggravated DWI to a maximum prison sentence of seven years for a third aggravated DWI within 10 years.

With respect to fines, an individual will face a maximum $2,500 fine for a first-time aggravated DWI to a maximum $10,000 fine for a third aggravated DWI within 10 years.

DWIs Quickly Become Felonies

A first DWI is a misdemeanor. According to the New York Courts, misdemeanors are divided into three groups, Class A, Class B and Unclassified. A first DWI is an Unclassified misdemeanor. This offense has a maximum sentence of up to one year in jail and a period of unsupervised probation for up to three years.

A second DWI within 10 years is a Class E felony, according to New York Vehicle and Traffic Law (VTL) 1192(3). In New York, felonies are divided into groups according to severity. The maximum term of incarceration for a Class E felony is four years in prison. Felonies are also classified as violent or nonviolent. Second and subsequent DWIs are nonviolent felonies. A third or subsequent DWI within 10 years is a Class D felony, which has a maximum term of incarceration of seven years in prison.

New York DWI Penalties

Jail Time

Fine 

License Revocation

Ignition Interlock Device

Probation

1st DWI

Up to one year in jail

$500 to $1,000

6 months minimum

1 year minimum

Maximum 3 years, usually unsupervised probation

2nd DWI

Up to four years in prison

$1,000 to $5,000

1 year minimum

1 year minimum

Maximum 5 years supervised probation

Third+ DWI

Up to seven years in prison

$2,000 to $10,000

1 year minimum, possibility of permanent denial, potential for 5-year DMV license denial  

1 year minimum, plus 5-year DMV license denial, followed by IID for 5 years

Maximum 5 years supervised probation

New York Department of Motor Vehicles (dmv.ny.gov/tickets/penalties-alcohol-or-drug-related-violations and https://dmv.ny.gov/tickets/penalties-multiple-offenders)

First DWI Penalties in New York

The penalties for a first DWI are up to one year in jail; up to three years of unsupervised probation; a fine of between $500 and $1,000; court fees of about $260; the requirement to pay a driver responsibility assessment of at least $250 a year for three years; a minimum six-month driver’s license revocation; and IID installation for a minimum of one year, according to the DMV. For a first-time DWI, there is no required minimum jail sentence. Depending on the circumstances, an individual may be eligible for a conditional driver’s license and may be required to attend a Victim Impact Panel (VIP).

Second DWI Penalties in New York

The penalties for a second DWI within 10 years are up to four years in prison; a maximum of five years of supervised probation; a fine of between $1,000 and $5,000; court costs of about $400; the requirement to pay a driver responsibility assessment of at least $250 a year for three years; a minimum one-year driver’s license revocation; and IID installation for a minimum of one year. For a second DWI within five years, a judge must order the IID to remain on the vehicle during both the period of driver’s license revocation and any probationary period that follows.

An individual may be required to attend a VIP and also be required to complete an alcohol assessment. They may be ordered to undergo substance abuse treatment. A driver who is convicted of a second DWI within five years of the first DWI is required to serve at least five days in county jail unless sentenced to 30 days of community service.

Third DWI Penalties in New York

The penalties for a third or subsequent DWI within 10 years are up to four years in prison; a maximum of five years of supervised probation; a fine of between $2,000 and $10,000; court costs of about $400; the requirement to pay a driver responsibility assessment of at least $250 a year for three years; a minimum one-year driver’s license revocation; and IID installation for a minimum of one year.

An individual may be required to attend a VIP and to complete an alcohol assessment. They may also be ordered to undergo substance abuse treatment. A third or subsequent DWI within 25 years, with at least one DWI being a serious offense, can result in permanent license suspension, according to the New York Department of Motor Vehicles. The exception is if the individual can demonstrate “unusual, extenuating and compelling circumstances.”

A third or subsequent DWI within 25 years without one DWI being a serious offense will result in a DMV denial of a license for five years in addition to the statutory revocation period, followed by relicensing with a restricted license and an IID for five years.

What Is Shock Probation?

At sentencing, a judge has the option to order an individual convicted of a DWI that involves incarceration to complete “shock probation.” This term also means a split sentence, according to New York Courts. It refers to serving part of the sentence in jail and the remainder on supervised probation. For example, an individual who has been convicted of a second DWI may be required to complete shock probation that involves six months in jail and two and a half years on supervised probation.

What Is Leandra’s Law?

Leandra’s Law, which took effect in 2010 and was strengthened in 2013, requires all drivers convicted of a DWI to install and maintain an IID on any vehicle owned or operated by the driver for at least 12 months, according to New York Courts. The law also makes it a felony to drive drunk with a conditional license. The law imposes additional penalties for a driver convicted of a DWI if there was a child 15 years old or younger in the vehicle at the time of the incident.