NYS DWI Penalties

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Anyone who drinks and drives in New York State can expect to face severe penalties for their crime. The first DWI someone gets in New York is classified as a misdemeanor in most cases. The second DWI is a felony, if it happens within five years of when the first offense occurred. The third DWI within 10 years of that first offense escalates to an even more serious felony in New York, which has its own set of severe consequences. If you happen to get caught driving while intoxicated, then it's beneficial to hire a DUI lawyer to provide you with sound legal advice.

DWI Penalties in New York

The first thing to understand is that there are different crimes that you can be charged for. These include:

1. DUI

DUI stands for driving under the influence. Your blood alcohol content is at or above the legal limit of .08, but under .18.

Consequences for 1st offense:

  • Misdemeanor
  • $1,000 to $500 fine to the state
  • Up to one year in jail
  • Minimum of 6 months license suspension

Consequences for 2nd offense within 10 years of the first:

  • Class E felony
  • Ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle
  • Minimum of one year license suspension
  • $1,000 to $5,000 fine to the state
  • Up to four years in jail (minimum sentence is 30 days of community service or five days in jail)

Consequences for 3rd offense within 5 years:

  • Class D felony
  • 10 days in jail or 60 days of community service and up to 7 years in jail
  • Ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle
  • Either permanent revocation of your license or minimum of one year suspension of license
  • $2,000 to $10,000 fine to the state


DWAI stands for driving while ability impaired by alcohol. Your blood alcohol content is under .08, which is the legal limit in the state. This is the lesser crime of the two, but it still comes with consequences for the person who gets charged.

Consequences for 1st offense:

  • Up to 15 days in jail
  • $300 to $500 fine to the state
  • License revocation for 90 days

Consequences for 2nd offense:

  • Minimum of 6 month license revocation
  • Up to 30 days in jail
  • $500 to $700 fine to the state

Consequences for 3rd offense with 10 years of the first offense:

  • Misdemeanor charge
  • Up to 180 days in jail
  • $750 to $1,500 fine to the state
  • Minimum of one year license revocation

3. Aggravated DUI

Your blood alcohol content while driving was .18 or higher. The consequences of this charge are similar to those of a regular DUI, although they do vary with each person and situation. The main difference with the consequences of this charge is that the duration of the revocation of license is generally greater. The license may also be permanently lost with multiple offenses.

Put Jackson Bergman on your Side

As former NYS prosecutors, Tom Jackson and Ben Bergman know the laws regarding DWI testing in New York State and are prepared to defend you against a DWI or DUI accusation.  Fill out the form at the top of this page to get a free assessment of your case.