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New York State (NYS) DWI Laws

NYS-DWI-LAWS

If you or someone you love has been charged with a DWI, then you are not alone. We can help. Contact us today to discuss your case free of charge at: 1-877-394-3476.

Some of your friends or loved ones may advise you to represent yourself in court or to retain an attorney who does not concentrate their practice on DWI. However, given the deceptively complex nature of the charges and their heavy consequences, you could find yourself without a driver’s license or in jail, without really understanding how you ended up in that situation. Critical mistakes such as accepting an unfair plea bargain, could result in a criminal record or an unnecessary lengthy delay in restoring driving privileges. Consequently, you could also spend the rest of your life learning the hard way about the consequences of the potentially poor decisions you made, without the benefit of competent DWI defense counsel. By that time, however, the damage will have already been done.

Is DUI a felony? Charged with an aggravated DWI in NY? Let us help you – the following are the DWI laws in NY that can result in criminal and/or administrative penalties against the accused.

  • DWI: Driving While Intoxicated; 0.08% BAC or higher and/or other evidence of intoxication.
  • New York Aggravated DWI: 0.18% BAC or higher.
  • New York DWAI: Driving While Ability Impaired by Alcohol; 0.06% BAC to 0.07% BAC and/or other evidence of impairment by alcohol.
  • New York DWAI: Drug: Driving While Ability Impaired by the Use of a Drug (i.e. that is not alcohol).
  • New York DWAI: Alcohol/Drugs: Driving While Ability Impaired by the Combined Influence of Drugs or Alcohol and Drugs.
  • New York Zero Tolerance Law: The motorist is under 21 years old and possesses a BAC of 0.02% to 0.07%.
  • New York DWI Chemical Test Refusal: A motorist who refuses to submit to a chemical test (normally a test of breath, blood or urine) will suffer a revocation of his or her driver’s license for at least one year and will have to pay a civil penalty of at least $500 to the Department of Motor Vehicles.
  • New York BWI: Boating While Intoxicated; 0.08% BAC or higher and/or other evidence of intoxication.
  • New York BWAI: Boating While Ability Impaired by Alcohol; 0.06% BAC to 0.07% BAC and/or other evidence of impairment by alcohol.
  • New York BWAI-Drug: Boating While Ability Impaired by the Use of a Drug (i.e. that is not alcohol).
  • New York BWI Chemical Test Refusal: A boater who refuses to submit to a chemical test (normally a test of breath or blood) will suffer a revocation of his or her boating privileges for at least six months and will have to pay a civil penalty of at least $200.
  • New York SWI: Snowmobiling While Intoxicated; 0.08% BAC or higher and/or other evidence of intoxication.
  • New York SWAI: Snowmobiling While Ability Impaired by Alcohol; 0.06% BAC to 0.07% BAC and/or other evidence of impairment by alcohol.
  • New York SWAI-Drug: Snowmobiling While Ability Impaired by the Use of a Drug (i.e. that is not alcohol).
  • New York SWI Chemical Test Refusal: A snowmobiler who refuses to submit to a chemical test (normally a test of breath, blood or urine) will suffer a revocation of his or her snowmobiling privileges for at least six months and will have to pay a civil penalty of at least $200.
  • Aggravated DWI with a child less than 15 years of age in vehicle: This is the Leandra’s Law charge – a class “E” felony even if the motorist has no prior convictions, charges, etc.
  • DWAI Commercial Motor Vehicle Level I: (.04 – .06 BAC)
  • DWAI Commercial Motor Vehicle Level II: (.06 – .08 BAC)
  • AUO 2nd – Suspension Based on 1192 conviction: Unclassified misdemeanor – 1st offense penalties include fine of $500 and a mandatory jail sentence of 7 days.
  • AUO 2nd – Suspension based on “Pending Prosecution”: Unclassified misdemeanor – penalties as above including mandatory jail sentence
  • AUO 1st – Prior conviction of AUO related to DWI suspension: Class “E” Felony – minimum fine of $500 – up to 4 years State Prison
  • AUO1st – Motorist Under Permanent Revocation under 1193-2(b)(12): Class “E” Felony – penalties as above
  • Violation of Conditional License (automatic one year revocation of license)
  • Use of Vehicle Without Interlock: Unclassified misdemeanor – 1st offense carries up to $300 fine and 30 days jail This would be charged where a motorist uses the vehicle of another that is not equipped with an interlock device. Notably the statute states in relevant part that the requirement of an interlock device “shall apply to every motor vehicle operated by that person . . ..”
  • Knowingly Renting Vehicle Without Interlock: Unclassified misdemeanor – 1st offense penalties as noted above
  • Circumvention of Interlock – Having Another Person Blow: Class “A” misdemeanor – 1st offense penalties as noted above
  • Circumvention of Interlock: This is the companion offense to 1198-9(a) above. It applies to the person who blows into the interlock device. That person is also subject to a class “A” misdemeanor with the same penalties.
  • Circumvention of Interlock: This offense is also a class “A” misdemeanor, with like penalties as above. It covers any tampering or alteration of an otherwise operable IID.
  • Circumvention of Interlock – Operating a MV without a Court Ordered IID: A class “A” misdemeanor with penalties as above. This offense applies where a motorist has disabled or otherwise fails to have an operable IID on a vehicle the court has ordered have said IID. In sum, when a client lists his or her vehicles, the sentencing court will list that vehicle as requiring an IID. A motorist found to be without an IID on that vehicle would be in violation of this section.
  • Soliciting Another to Circumvent Interlock Device: An unclassified misdemeanor, with 1st offense penalties as noted above.
  • Circumventing an Interlock Device for Another: An unclassified misdemeanor, and the companion offense to the one listed above, it applies to the person doing the circumvention.
  • Vehicular Assault in the Second Degree: Class “E” felony – Penalties include up to four (4) years in state prison, and five (5) years of Probation. Fine range is $1000 – $5000. Operator must cause “serious physical injury” to another while DWI (in violation of 1192-2). Note – DWAI does not elevate to this offense.
  • Vehicular Assault in the Second Degree: As above, except operator is on a snowmobile or ATV.
  • Vehicular Assault in the First Degree: Class “D” felony – penalties include up to seven (7) years in state prison and five (5) years of Probation. Fine range is $2000 – $10,000 Motorist must be guilty of Vehicular Assault 2nd and have BAC of .18 or above
  • Vehicular Assault in the First Degree: Vehicular Assault 2nd + suspension for alcohol related offense in New York or any other jurisdiction
  • Vehicular Assault in the First Degree: Vehicular Assault 2nd + conviction of alcohol related offense within the past ten years
  • Vehicular Manslaughter in the Second Degree: Class “D” felony – penalties include up to seven (7) years in state prison and five (5) years of Probation. Fine range is $2000-$10,000. Motorist must be in violation of a section 1192 offense (except for DWAI) and cause the death of another. This section applies to motor vehicle and boats.
  • Vehicular Manslaughter in the Second Degree: As above, but applies to snowmobiles. Penalties as above.
  • Vehicular Manslaughter in the First Degree: Class “C” felony – penalties include up to 15 years in state prison, five years Probation, and fines of up to $15,000.
    Vehicular Manslaughter in the 2nd + BAC greater than .18
  • Vehicular Manslaughter in the First Degree: Vehicular Manslaughter 2nd + suspension for DWI offense in New York or another state, including suspension based on refusal to take breath test. Penalties as above.
  • Vehicular Manslaughter in the First Degree: Vehicular Manslaughter 2nd + previous conviction of DWI in the past ten years in New York or in another state. Penalties as above.

DWI Laws in NY Review

Blood alcohol content (BAC) is defined as the percentage of alcohol by weight contained in a person’s blood (measured either directly from a blood sample or indirectly from a breath sample). Blood and breath tests are different and conflicting results can occur. Under some circumstances, one type of test will establish a person’s innocence, while the other type of test will result in an accusation of intoxication.

Most motorists don’t realize, however, that New York State does NOT allow them to choose which test to take. The police choose the test that will be used against the accused. Either the motorist submits to the test that the police have chosen or suffers the consequences of a refusal to submit to a chemical test.

In order to convict someone of DWI or DWAI in New York State, the prosecutor must prove that the motorist was intoxicated or impaired at the time that person was operating the vehicle. However, in every DWI case, a motorist’s BAC is determined at the time the blood or breath test is administered, which can be anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours after operation. This is significant, because the human body must first absorb any alcohol in the stomach before any effects can be felt or manifested, and absorption of alcohol can take as long as one to several hours after the point of consumption. Consequently, a BAC test reading can reflect a substantially higher or lower result than the motorist’s actual BAC at the time of operation.

For example, suppose a motorist drank two 12-ounce bottles of beer within 30 minutes and then was stopped in his car by police only a few minutes after finishing his last sip. Under those circumstances, the motorist’s actual BAC at the time of operation would generally not yet reflect the two drinks (i.e. because the motorist would probably not yet have absorbed the alcohol he consumed). However, a BAC test wouldn’t occur until after the police officer had performed his investigation, arrested the motorist, transported him to the police station, and forced him to sit around for a period of time – all of which could take anywhere from about an hour to several hours to complete. As a result, the motorist would be charged with DWI based on a BAC level that would, in all likelihood, be much higher at the time of testing than when the motorist had been driving.

Let us help with New York DWI Laws

If you, a friend, or a loved has been accused of DWI or any of the other charges described above, contact Anelli Xavier immediately. We’ll help you make the right decisions for your case, the first time. Contact us today to discuss your case free of charge at: 1-877-394-3476.