Close Menu

New York DWI/DUI 101

New York DWI:DUI 101 | Brooklyn, NY | Law Offices of David J. Hernandez & Associates

Different states have different laws regarding DWIs (driving while intoxicated) and DUIs (driving under the influence). Ignorance of the law is no excuse and will get you nowhere in a court. Therefore, it’s time for a crash course in New York’s law on DWIs.

Whether or not you receive a ticket for a DWI in New York will be based on your BAC (blood alcohol content). In New York, if you are under the age of 21 your BAC must be .02 percent or less; if you are over the age of 21 your BAC must be .08 percent or less. DWI is just one possible charge you might face. For example, if your BAC is .18 percent or higher, you may be charged with aggravated DWI.

If you get pulled over in New York on suspicion of DWI, you have the right to refuse the chemical test (blood or urine test) to determine your BAC. However, be aware that New York has an implied consent law which means if you refuse to submit to the chemical test you will automatically be subjected to a fine and license suspension.

Penalties for Refusing Chemical Test

1st Offense

2nd Offense

3rd Offense

License Suspended

1 year

18 months

18 months

Jail Time

No minimum jail time

5 days in jail or 30 days community service

10 days in jail or 60 days community service

If you submit to a chemical test and are subsequently ticketed for a DWI
the penalties you face will depend on many things including:

  • Your age
  • Number of prior offenses
  • Your BAC
  • If illegal drugs are also involved
  • Your driver’s license – passenger license versus a speciallicense (ex. commercial)
  • If there were any passengers in the vehicle and the ages of the passengers

DWI First Offense Penalties in New York

Under 21

Over 21

Aggravated DWI

License Suspended

6 month minimum

6 month minimum

1 year minimum

Jail Time


1 year maximum

1 year maximum


$225 and up

$500 to $1,000

$1,000 to $2,500

Court Ordered Ignition Interlock Device





Possible enrollment in New York Drinking Driver Program

Mandatory alcohol screening and/or evaluation

Possible enrollment in New York Drinking Driver Program

If you have a passenger 15 years of age or younger in the vehicle at the time of your DWI, the penalties are much steeper. You can charged with a class “E” felony and face a fine of up to $5,000 as well as a jail sentence of up to four years (Stim, nd).

New York is very strict on DWIs. In 2009, Leandra’s Law passed the state senate, making the following changes:

  • A person who causes the death of an individual under 16 years old will be charged with the crime of aggravated vehicular homicide which is a class B violent felony.
  • A person who causes serious physical injury to an individual under 16 years old will be charged with the crime of aggravated vehicular assault which is a class C violent felony.

There are a variety of calculators and apps available that can help you determine your BAC; however, in most cases it is advisable to exercise caution and simply not drink and drive. Paying $50 for a cab ride is definitely less expensive than loosing your license for six months.

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

© 2017 - 2020 David Hernandez & Associates.
All Rights Reserved.