How harshly does New York punish driving while intoxicated?

On Behalf of | Apr 2, 2021 | Criminal Law |

It can be difficult to judge your own level of intoxication after having a couple of drinks. In some cases, you might feel alright and decide that you can probably drive home. Before you take that risk, it’s important to understand the consequences of being pulled over for driving while intoxicated (DWI) in New York.

New York DWI laws

New York law establishes a schedule that sets the penalty for driving while intoxicated. The penalties get progressively harsher for subsequent offenses – meaning that, if the police pull you over with alcohol in your system a third time, the consequences will be much worse than the first time.

New York is more severe than many other states on first-time offenders of its DWI law. Unlike in many states, in New York there is a minimum drivers’ license suspension of six months for the first offense.

In addition to getting your license suspended, you could also face vehicle confiscation and mandatory alcohol education, depending on the severity of the offense. These penalties accompany some pretty hefty fines.

The court can also require you to install an ignition interlock device into all of your cars at your own expense. These are devices that don’t let your car start until you blow into them to measure your blood alcohol level.

On a second offense, your mandatory license suspension increases to one year. After a third offense, the suspension will be for a minimum of six years.

New York recognizes out-of-state DWI convictions, and counts them on your New York driving record as well. This means that, even if you’re new to the state, you could get the penalties for a second or third DWI offense if you have DWIs on your record from your previous state.

Having a DWI on your record can be a serious limitation for your future career and education goals. If you’re at all in doubt as to your ability to drive, it’s best to err on the safe side and avoid the risk.