In New York, a “per se” DWI charge means that a driver was intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle, and that the intoxication can be proven by BAC. Intoxication is defined as the level of impairment when a driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) level is at 0.08% or higher. What are the penalties for a DWI conviction in New York? They can vary, depending on exactly how intoxicated the driver was at the time and whether he or she had prior DWI or DWAI convictions. For a first time misdemeanor DWI offense, the penalties may include:

  • Up to one (1) year in jail;
  • Three (3) years of Probation supervision
  • A maximum fine of $1,000 and a mandatory New York State surcharge;
  • 6-month license revocation;
  • Requirement to install and maintain an ignition interlock device for 1 year in any vehicle or vehicles owned or operated by the motorist.

Any driver that has previously been convicted of a DWI within the past 10 years can be charged with a felony DWI if they drive intoxicated again. A felony DWI is a more serious charge than the “per se” DWI due to the prior convictions. Depending on the nature and number of prior convictions, the penalties can vary and may include time in prison. With one prior DWI conviction (misdemeanor or felony), the felony DWI conviction can result in up to 4 years in state prison. With two prior convictions, a conviction on the felony DWI charge could result in up to 7 years in state prison. In addition to any state prison sentence, there are several other penalties that could be ordered due to a felony DWI conviction.

These additional penalties include:

  • Five (5) years of Probation;
  • Requirement to install and maintain an ignition interlock device for at least one (1) year in any vehicle or vehicles owned or operated by the motorist;
  • Long term or permanent license revocation; and
  • Fines of up to $10,000 and mandatory New York State surcharges.

Similar to the increased penalties for multiple DWIs are the penalties for multiple DWAIs. A DWAI (Driving While Ability Impaired) charge means that a driver was operating a vehicle with a BAC between 0.05% and 0.07%. The first offense is a violation, but subsequent offenses can be charged as misdemeanor (criminal) offenses. A motorist may also be charged with DWAI-Drugs, or Driving While Ability Impaired by Drugs. The first offense is a misdemeanor, and carries the same potential penalties as a DWI. Like a felony DWI charge, a felony DWAI-Drugs charge can be brought against the impaired motorist who was previously convicted a DWAI-Drugs within the past 10 years. And like a felony DWI conviction, a felony DWAI-Drugs conviction can lead to substantial penalties including a $10,000 fine, up to 7 years in state prison, probation supervision, license revocation, and a requirement to install an ignition interlock device.

Multiple prior convictions can lead to serious legal consequences. However, with the proper legal team, multiple convictions do not have to ruin your life or your future. Too many New York drivers try to handle their felony DWI or felony DWAI-Drugs charges alone and end up serving the maximum sentences. At Nave DWI Defense Attorneys, we understand the New York DWI laws, and we know how the system works. We will aggressively represent you and provide a top-quality defense. Our lawyers have dedicated their careers to helping those charged with DWI and DWAI-Drug charges, and we can help you too. Call us today at 1-866-792-7800 for your free case evaluation. During that call, we will evaluate your charges and begin developing the best legal strategy for your case. If you have been charged with a felony DWI or DWAI-Drugs, or any other DWI charge, contact us today.

DISCLAIMER: The exclusive purpose of this article is educational and it is not intended as either legal advice or a general solution to any specific legal problem. Corporate offices for Nave DWI Defense Attorneys are located at 432 N. Franklin Street, Suite 80, Syracuse, NY 13204; Telephone No.: 1-866-792-7800. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Attorney Advertising.