New York DWI Law

Here are the important facts about DWI in New York.

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In New York, you can get a DWI (also known as driving while intoxicated, drunk driving, or DUI) if you drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher, regardless of whether your driving ability was actually impaired. And the law in New York says that if you are driving a vehicle, you have given consent to submit to a chemical test for the purpose of determining the amount of alcohol in your blood. Here are some details on the consequences of refusing to take a chemical test in New York and other details about New York DWI law.

In New York, what are the consequences of refusing to take a chemical test (usually a breathalyzer or blood test) when suspected of DWI?

Here are the consequences for not taking a breathalyzer or blood test in New York, broken out by whether this is your first, second, or third offense:

1st offense

2nd offense

3rd offense

1 year license suspension

18 month license suspension

18 month license suspension

In New York, when do police have to measure your blood alcohol content (BAC)?

In New York, law enforcement officers are supposed to measure your BAC at the time of driving. However, prosecutors may be able to prove your culpability for DWI even if your BAC is taken later than this time.

What is the maximum BAC for drivers under 21 in New York?

In New York, the maximum blood alcohol content (BAC) for drivers who are under 21 (considered minors under some drinking and driving laws) is .02%.

What are the minimum jail times for a DWI in New York?

Here are the minimum jail times for a DWI in New York, broken out by whether this is your first, second, or third offense:

1st offense

2nd offense

3rd offense

No minimum jail time required

5 days jail or 30 days community service

10 days jail or 60 days community service

How long will prior DWI convictions remain relevant for sentencing purposes in New York?

In New York, prior DWI convictions stay on your record (and can be counted against you when you are being sentenced for another DUI/DWI offense) for 5 years.

Can a DWI be “pleaded down” to a "wet reckless" in New York?

No, a plea bargain for a conviction of "wet reckless" (reckless driving involving alcohol) is barred by statute in your state. If you are interested in contacting a DWI lawyer for help, you can find a DWI lawyer in your area in Nolo's Lawyer Directory.

Are ignition interlock devices (IIDs) required for convicted DWI offenders in New York?

Yes, for all convictions, including first offenses.

Where can I get more information about DWI laws in New York?

Nolo's DUI/DWI topic has many helpful articles, including a Drunk Driving, DUI, and DWI FAQ. For more help after a DWI arrest, see Nolo's Lawyer Directory, where you can view in-depth profiles of New York DWI attorneys in your area.

Last updated on 09/01/2010.

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