Regardless of the amount of alcohol you consume, it affects your overall ability to drive a vehicle, especially as it relates to your coordination and judgment. Therefore, driving while intoxicated is an offense New York courts take very seriously.
Many different offenses fall into the broad category of DWI in New York. The type of charges determines the specific consequences. In any case, however, you can expect a mandatory fine and driver license action. There is usually, not always, the possibility of incarceration, as well.
DWI or DWAI-drug
It is not only alcohol that can impair your driving ability. The consequences for driving while ability impaired by a single drug other than alcohol are the same as for driving while intoxicated. They include a license revocation of six months’ duration, a mandatory fine of $500 to $1,000 and a possible jail term of one year.
Note that the criteria for driving while intoxicated extend beyond a 0.08% blood alcohol concentration to include other evidence of intoxication, even at a lower BAC.
If your BAC is 0.18% or higher, you could face charges of aggravated driving while intoxicated. The penalties include a possible one-year jail term, a mandatory fine of $1,000 to $2,500 and revocation of your license for at least one year.
The Zero Tolerance law applies to drivers under the legal drinking age of 21. It is illegal for a driver younger than this to operate a vehicle with a BAC of 0.02% to 0.07%. A first-offense Zero Tolerance violation can result in a six-month license suspension. At the end of that period, you would have to pay a fee of $100 to terminate the suspension on top of a $125 civil penalty. A second Zero Tolerance violation could revoke your license until you turn 21. However, Zero Tolerance violations do not carry the possibility of jail time.
Chemical test refusal
Applying for a driver license represents implied consent for any chemical testing. Therefore, refusal to submit to testing carries penalties of its own. These include license revocation for at least one year and a civil penalty of $500.