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DUI/DWI Information for New York

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New York DUI & DWI

The state of New York takes driving under the influence very seriously. The DMV does everything in its power to condemn this dangerous decision. They have done so by defining "driving while intoxicated" as strictly as most other states in the country. You will be convicted of a DWI charge if:

  • You are under 21 with a blood alcohol content of .02 percent.
  • You are operating a commercial vehicle with a BAC of .04 percent.
  • You are 21 or older with a BAC of .08 percent.

In addition, factors such as your age at the time of driving, the substance in question, the class of your New York drivers license, and whether or not you take a chemical test will determine the penalty of your crime. Furthermore, there is a number of alcohol or drug-related offenses that you can be ticketed for in addition to the basic DWI, such as:

  • Driving while ability impaired (DWAI) for Alcohol.
  • DWAI for Drugs.
  • DWAI for a Combination of Alcohol and Drugs.
  • Aggravated DWI: having a BAC of .18 percent.

If your driver's license is confiscated upon the time of your arrest, you will need to first complete all your reinstatement requirements before you are allowed to restore driving privileges. During your suspension period, however, you may be eligible to apply for a conditional license. For more information regarding this process, contact the NY DMV.

Information Related to DUI/DWI

Penalties of DUI Convictions for Minors

Age is one of the main elements that determine punishment for DUI citations. If you are under the age of 21, for instance, and are caught with a blood alcohol content that is .02 percent or higher, you have broken the state's Zero-Tolerance law and face significant penalties.
For your first DUI offense:

  • You must pay a $125 civil penalty fee.
  • You must pay a $100 suspension termination fee.
  • You have a suspended drivers license for six months.
  • You may have to enroll in an alcohol awareness class.
  • You may need to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle.

In addition to the aforementioned penalties, a one-year driving license revocation is added on for your second offense if you are under 21. However, the price of a DUI ticket is much more expensive if you are 21 or older. Nevertheless, they vary from offense to offense.

DWAI for Alcohol Penalties

A first offense for a driver who is 21 or older will result in:

  • 90-day NY drivers license suspension.
  • $300-$500 in traffic fines.
  • At least $250 for annual assessment fee for three years.
  • Up to 15 days in jail.
  • Possible alcohol awareness program.

A second offense brings more severe penalties:

  • Six-month driving license revocation
  • $500-$750 in fines
  • At least $250 for annual assessment fee for three years
  • Up to 30 days in jail
  • Possible alcohol awareness program

DWI and DWAI for Drugs Penalties

A first offense for receiving a DWI citation or a DWAI for drugs charge brings the same penalties, which are:

  • Six-month drivers license revocation for DWI ticket.
  • Six-month drivers license suspension for DWAI charge.
  • $500-$1,000 in fines.
  • At least $250 for annual assessment fee for three years.
  • Up to a year in jail.
  • Possible drug awareness class.

Second offenses, on the other hand, come with:

  • A one-year drivers license revocation.
  • $1,000 to $5,000 in fines.
  • At least $250 for annual assessment fee for three years.
  • Up to four years in jail and at least 30 days of community service.
  • A Class E felony designation.
  • Possible drug awareness program.

DWAI for Drugs and Alcohol Penalties

Combination convictions come with similar penalties to those faced with only alcohol or drug-related DWAI charges. First offenses, for instance, carry:

  • A six-month driving license revocation.
  • $500-$1,000 in fines.
  • At least $250 for annual assessment fee for three years.
  • Up to a year in jail.
  • Possible drug or alcohol awareness training.

Then, for a second offense, convictions typically cause:

  • At least one year of driving license revocation.
  • $1,000-$5,000 in traffic fines.
  • At least $250 for annual assessment fee for three years.
  • Up to four years in jail.
  • A Class E Felony designation.
  • Possible enrollment in drinking driver program.

Aggravated DWI Penalties

In the event your BAC was at .18 percent or higher, you will incur the following punishments based on whether this was your first or second offense. For a first strike, you will receive:

  • One-year of a revoked drivers license.
  • $1,000-$2,500 in fines.
  • At least $250 for annual assessment fee for three years.
  • Up to a year in jail.
  • Possible enrollment in a drinking driver program.

A second offense adds on to the difficulties of being slapped with a conviction:

  • 18-month minimum revoked drivers license
  • $1,000 to $5,000 in fines
  • At least $250 for annual assessment fee for three years
  • Up to four years in jail
  • A Class E felony designation
  • Possible enrollment in a drinking driver program
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Refusal to take Chemical Test Penalties

If you refuse to submit to a chemical test, such as a Breathalyzer or a blood test, the following consequences will result:

  • One-year driver's license suspension, if this is your first offense
  • Civil penalty fee
  • Re-application fee
  • Other possible penalties

If you are a repeat DUI offender in New York, your driver's license can be suspended for up to 18 months.

DUIs for Commercial Drivers

A New York CDL license driver can never operate a commercial vehicle if he or she has a blood alcohol content of .04 percent or higher. The punishments associated with committing these violations happen to be much more severe than those faced by ordinary drivers, including higher costs and longer suspensions. In addition, a revoked driving license is much likelier.

Importance of a DUI Attorney

If you have been charged with any of the aforementioned offenses and are facing the steep price of DUI convictions, from hefty fines to long suspensions, your best course of action is to ask for help from a seasoned DUI attorney. These attorneys are your key to:

  • Reducing the length of your suspension.
  • Reducing your DUI ticket fines.
  • Eliminating the charges.

How to Reinstate a Suspended Drivers License

There is a process that must be followed when you are slapped with a suspended drivers license in New York because of DUI charge. It is important that you pay close attention and avoid deviating from the following guide:

  1. Wait for the entire suspension period to end
  2. Pay off all traffic ticket fines associated with your violation
  3. Pay your New York reinstatement fee of $50
  4. If applicable, pay the Zero-Tolerance Law violation charge: $100
  5. Show proof of your car insurance
  6. Complete alcohol awareness training and submit proof to DMV
  7. Buy SR22 insurance

Alcohol &Drug Awareness Courses

There will be many instances in which the New York court system requires you to attend drug or alcohol awareness training. These classes will lecture you on various topics in order to help you become a safer driver:

  • Drinking and driving facts
  • Blood alcohol content laws
  • The effect of alcohol and drugs on the body

If you are facing the need to enroll, it is crucial that you sign up for an alcohol awareness class offered by an accredited institution.

SR22 Insurance in New York

SR22 coverage is not always required in the state of New York, but there are some circumstances that ask you to maintain this proof of insurance. It is important to know that SR22 insurance is not coverage. It is actually proof that a driver still maintains car insurance after a violation. Some of these offenses include:

  • Being charged with a DUI .
  • Not having car insurance.
  • Driving recklessly.

You can purchase SR22 insurance at an auto insurance branch or you can capitalize on the low rates featured online.

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Reviews of DUI/DWI Information for New York

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I never thought about how serious drinking and driving can be until one morning while in prison, I was awakened by a dream that made me vow to never drink and drive again. I killed several of my relatives; the dream made me realize that this is a reality that could have happened. I don't want to take anyone's life over something that is so avoidable !

Kevin Fisher

Kevin Fisher, I appreciate what you wrote about your dream. Dreams can be very powerful messengers of information! I agree that the realization of hurting or worse, killing someone , while driving under the influence is overwhelming to say the least! The fact that it is avoidable is what must be acknowledged, head on. I have also decided to never drink and then drive! Thankfully I did not hurt anyone, but I could have! Call a cab. Walk. Call a friend. Just don't drive! What ever the cost! Believe me it's cheaper than the cost of drunk driving!!!

As a person who was just hospitalized by a DWI driver -- it's certainly been significant in my life. My family went through days of wondering if I'd even live or be a vegetable.

For anyone tempted, it's not about staying under .08. It's about having -nothing- in your body when you start a car. Same with texting.

Kevin - I'm glad you had a dream that you could take action on, instead of a reality you had to live with. I found myself struggling to "wake up" with a dread that the images going through my head were real. Only to wake up and find they were.