Every state has a different method of dealing with those who drive while under the influence of an intoxicating substance. New York’s DWI laws are harsher than many other states, and the consequences get progressively more severe with each subsequent offense. Before you take a chance and risk a possible DWI conviction, it’s good to understand what the consequences could be.
New York DWI definition
Like most other states, the amount of alcohol you can legally have in your blood while driving in New York is less than .08 blood alcohol content. It’s important to note, however, that alcohol and illegal narcotics are not the only substances that can land you a DWI.
Certain prescription medications, while legal, can also have an intoxicating effect on you if they make you drowsy, overly nauseous or otherwise impair your ability to drive safely. It’s equally illegal to drive while under the influence of one of these medications.
The progressive penalties
The first time you receive a DWI conviction, you will have to pay a fine of $500 to $1,000, and could serve up to one year in jail, depending on the circumstances. The court will also suspend your driver license for at least six months. If your blood alcohol content is above .18 at the time of the offense, the penalties increase to a $1,000 to $2,500 fine and a license suspension of at least one year.
The second offense could earn you a $1,000 to $5,000 fine and up to four years in jail. A third offense could result in a $2,000 to $10,000 fine and up to seven years in jail. The revocation of your license increases from one year to 18 months with a blood alcohol content of .18.
Whether you’re slightly tipsy but think you’re probably okay to drive, or you are taking new medications and aren’t sure of the effect they’ll have on your body, it’s probably a good idea to avoid getting behind the wheel. New York DWI laws are severe, and it’s just not worth the risk.