DWI - Frequently Asked Questions

What is the legal blood alcohol limit in New York State?
The Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) legal blood alcohol limit in New York is .08 blood alcohol content (BAC).

The Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated legal blood alcohol limit in New York is .18 BAC.  Aggravated DWI may also be established while driving under the influence of drugs or with a BAC of .08 or greater while driving with a child who is fifteen years or age or less in the vehicle.

What are penalties for a first time DWI offender in New York State?
The penalties for a first time offender include jail time up to one year, license revoked for at least 6 months, and/or fines ranging from $500-$1,000.  If convicted of aggravated driving while intoxicated a first time offender may face jail time up to one year, license revoked for at least 1 year, and/or fines ranging from $1,000-$2,500.

Other penalties may include probation or a conditional discharge mandating the installation of an ignition interlock device.

What are the penalties for a repeat DWI offender in New York State?
A second time offender will be subject to felony charges, fines ranging from $1,000-$5,000, license revoked for at least 1 year (18 months for an aggravated DWI), and/or face jail time up to four years.

Third time offenders will be subject to felony charges, fines ranging from $2,000-$10,000, license revoked for at least 1 year (18 months for an aggravated DWI), and/or face jail time up to seven years.

What is the implied consent law?
The implied consent law states that drivers suspected of driving while intoxicated must consent to a chemical test (normally a test of breath, blood, or urine).  If a driver refuses the test then the driver may face civil penalties of $500 and license being revoked for at least 1 year.  Repeat offenders may face penalties up to $750 and license being revoked for at least 18 months.

Should I plead guilty to a DWI charge?
Based on the condition of your arrest and the recorded BAC level, a plea bargained disposition may sometimes save you aggravation and money.  Most often, circumstances are such that there is a possibility of a charge being reduced or charges dropped altogether, then a lawyer should be consulted before a plea is entered.

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