Driving While Ability-Impaired Penalties Vary In New York

Drinking and driving in New York is something lawmakers and police take very seriously, so much so that they don’t have a single charge for first and subsequent offenders who drive under the influence (DUI) or drive while intoxicated (DWI). Individual charges vary due to blood alcohol levels, whether you’ve been drinking alcohol, doing drugs, or a combination of both.

To be charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI) in New York, you will:

  • Have a blood alcohol level of .08 and be over the age of 21
  • Have a blood alcohol level of .04 and be driving a commercial vehicle
  • Have a blood alcohol level of .02 and be under the age of 21

Driving While Ability ImpairedBut when in New York State, the standard DWI charge is only one of the many charges you can receive if you drink and drive or do drugs then drive. Specific offenses you can be convicted of are:

  • DWAI with Alcohol – Driving While Ability-Impaired by Alcohol
  • DWAI with Drugs – Driving While Ability-Impaired by Drugs other than Alcohol
  • DWAI in Combination – When you are charged with Driving While-Ability Impaired by both Drugs and Alcohol
  • Aggravated DWI or A-DWI – When you have a blood alcohol level of 0.18 or higher, you can be charged with Aggravated Driving.

The DWI Penalties you will receive if you are charged with DWAI/Alcohol in New York include loss of the privilege to drive for a period of 90 days, a minimum $300 fine, and the possibility of up to 15 days in jail. A second DWAI/Alcohol offense will net you a minimum of $500 fine, up to 30 days in jail, and the loss of your driver’s license for a period of 6 months.

DWI and DWAI/Drugs have the same penalties. First offenders will lose their privilege to drive for 6 months, pay up to $1000 in fines, and may spend up to 1 year in jail. Second offenders who receive a conviction within 10 years of the first will lose their license for a period of one year, pay up to $5000 in fines, be charged with a Class E felony, and may spend up to 4 years in jail.

The different levels of penalties in New York ensure that every drinking driver, or driver who decides to take drugs before getting behind the wheel, will be penalized for their actions.