Understanding DWI Penalties in New York
When you drink and drive, you can lack coordination, reflexes, and the ability to make good decisions on the road. This puts everybody at risk, and for this reason, the state of NY has some of the harshest penalties in the country for people convicted of drunk driving charges.
There are a variety of factors that determine how intoxicated a person is when drinking, such as body weight, the amount of alcohol you consumed, if you ate before or while you were drinking, and even your gender. Knowing that you’re not fit to drive after too many drinks can help you avoid dangerous situations and the potential for an accident or DWI charge.
However, if you are charged with a DWI in NY the penalties change depending on whether it is your first, second or third charge. Listed below are some of the penalties for DWI convictions in NY:
- First offense: DWI or DWAI-Drug convictions carry fines between $500 and $1,000, a revoked license for a minimum of 6 months and up to one year of prison time. A first charge is a misdemeanor.
- Second offense: If convicted of a second DWI or DWAI-drug violation within a period of ten years, you can face a Class E felony charge carrying fines between $1,000 and $5,000, a revoked license for a minimum of one year, and up to four years in prison.
- Third offense: If convicted of a third DWI or DWAI-Drug violation within a period of 10 years, this is a Class D felony that carries fines between $2,000-$10,000, a revoked license for a minimum of one year, and up to seven years in prison.
For Driving While Ability Impaired by Alcohol (DWAI) crimes, the penalties are less severe but can grow harsher with each subsequent offense. Below are the penalties for a DWAI offense in New York:
- First offense: If it is your first offense, it is an infraction and you can face fines between $300-$500, a suspended license for 90 days and up to 15 days in prison.
- Second offense: For a second violation within five years of your first offense, it is also an infraction that carries fines between $500-750, a revoked license for a minimum of six months and up to thirty days in jail.
- Third offense: For a third offense within ten years of the first, it is a misdemeanor crime that carries fines between $750 and $1,500, a revoked license for a minimum of six months, and up to 180 days in prison.
Besides the penalties for DWI and DWAI convictions, if you caused an accident while driving impaired you may also be held accountable for any personal injuries, property damage, pain and suffering, or in some cases, wrongful deaths. In many instances as well, you will be required to install an interlock ignition device (IID) in your car, which will only allow you to start the engine after you have blown “clean” and proven you’re not intoxicated.
Losing your license, freedom, and a significant amount of money from a DWI or DWAI conviction can seriously jeopardize you and your family’s future. Furthermore, misdemeanor and felony DWI charges can stay on your driving record for up to ten years, which can make it difficult to get a job, rent a house, and in some cases, even pursue certain fields of work. It will also raise your insurance premiums and cost you thousands of dollars extra every year.
Since the penalties for DWI and DWAI convictions in Nassau County are so harsh, there’s no time to mess around after your arrest. Contact an experienced DWI and DWAI defense attorney in Nassau County who knows how to defend your rights in court and get you the best outcome for your case.
What is Leandra’s Law in New York?
Leandra’s Law is named after an 11-year-old girl who was killed in 2009 while riding in the car of one of her mother’s friends, who was intoxicated at the time. Afterwards, legislation was created to toughen the penalties for DWI and DUI crimes. Listed below are some of the penalties for DWI crimes that fall under the category of Leandra’s Law:
- DWI offenders who are caught driving while intoxicated with a child younger than 16 face a class E felony, which can be punished with up to four years in prison.
- DWI offenders caught driving with a child under the age of 16 face an automatic license suspension.
- If a drunk driver causes the death of a child under 16, they can face a class B felony and up to 25 years in jail.
- If a DWI driver causes the injury of a child under 16, they face a class C felony and up to 15 years in prison.
Leandra’s Law also requires the installation of ignition interlock devices for anyone who is convicted of a DWI or DUI crime in New York. Furthermore, parents and guardians of children who are caught driving while intoxicated in New York are reported to the Statewide Central Register for Child Abuse and Mistreatment.