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According to the state of New York, Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) or Driving Under Influence (DUI) is a serious offense. If a person is arrested for DWI/DUI in New York, then it triggers two cases – 1) a DWI criminal court case (which results into being arrested for impaired driving) and 2) an administrative Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) case.

If a person’s abilities, when arrested, were impaired by alcohol while he/she was behind the wheel, then the DMV case empowers the state of New York to suspend his/her driving privileges.

The possible drunk driving offenses in New York involve:

  • Driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 or greater
  • Driving while intoxicated
  • Driving while impaired by the use of alcohol or use of drugs (DWAI/DWAI drug offenses)
  • If a commercial driver, driving with a BAC of 0.04 or greater
  • If under the age of 21, driving with a BAC of 0.02 or greater

The following table lists out the New York DWI Penalties:

ConvictionCourt FinesPotential Jail TimeLicense Suspension
1st Conviction$500-$1000Upto 1 year6 months
2nd Conviction$1000-$500010 days-7yearsMin. 1 year
3rd Conviction$200-$10,000Upto 7 yearsMin. 1 year

The state of New York can charge DWI/DUI by 2 theories – 1) the “common-law” theory and 2) the “per se” theor. As per the “common-law” theory, the evidence of impaired driving can be used to convict a driver. The evidence may be officer testimony regarding driving patterns, failed field sobriety tests, and chemical tests. BAC results are not taken into consideration to convict a driver under this theory. As per the “per se” law, A BAC level of 0.08% or higher is enough to convict a driver for DWI/DUI. Physical impairment is not taken into consideration.

According to the New York state law, a licensed person operating a motor vehicle automatically gives his or her consent for an approved test (blood, breath, urine, or saliva) to examine intoxication. However, New York motorists have a right to consult with a DWI attorney before refusing or taking any chemical tests. Despite of such a law, the police do not have to wait for the attorney to show up. Any kind of test refusal may result in up to one year license revocation and fines. This can be considered as evidence in court if is proven that the driver in question was advised appropriately.

A chemical test has to be conducted by a person qualified by the Department of Health within 2 hours of arrest in order to consider the test valid and admissible in court as evidence. Similarly, a doctor, nurse, doctor’s assistant, or other medical personnel under the supervision of a doctor can only carry out a blood test. Moreover, a driver accused of DUI has a right to request a second independent, chemical test.

If you or a person you know is facing a DWI conviction, then reach out to a reputable DWI Attorney who can lessen the charges and cost of DWI arrest. Contact Aditya Surti Esq. at 201-518-6642201-518-6642201-518-6642 to schedule an appointment at the Jersey City Office or at 732-750-1269732-750-1269732-750-1269 to schedule an appointment at the Woodbridge Office. You can also email us at to schedule an appointment. Appointments can be available on weekends and nights and evenings.