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New York DWI Laws

New York, New York. Some of us are lucky enough to "wake up in the city that never sleeps." What we don't want to do is wake up in a jail cell because we've had too much alcohol to drink and decided to drive. Ah, yes. New York can be a place where your dreams come true, but if you get behind the wheel, New York's driving while intoxicated (DWI) laws can become a nightmare.

Each state has it's own driving under the influence laws on the books. While the blood alcohol content (BAC) levels are all .08, the punishments vary widely. And penalties are a lot like real estate values -- it all comes down to location, location, location.

Zero Tolerance

The great state of New York, whether in Manhattan or Elmira, does not tolerate underage drinking or using illegal or prescription drugs and driving. When you are under 21 years of age, the law says there isn't a safe blood alcohol level for you to drink and drive. This law makes it illegal for a driver under age 21 to have consumed any alcohol. If your BAC is .02 to .07 percent, you will be notified to appear at a DMV hearing. If the judge’s finding supports the charge, the penalty is a 6-month license suspension, a $125 civil penalty, and a $100 suspension termination fee.

This chart lays out the basics of New York DWI law:

New York DWI Laws: Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) Limits and Implied Consent

"Per Se" BAC Limit 0.08 Percent
Zero Tolerance (Underage) BAC Limit 0.02 Percent
Enhanced Penalty (Aggravated) BAC Limit 0.18 Percent
Implied Consent to Submit to BAC Test? Yes

New York DWI Laws: Select Penalties

Minimum License Suspension or Revocation (1st, 2nd, 3rd offense) 6 months, 1 year, 6 years
Mandatory Alcohol Education, Assessment and Treatment Both
Vehicle Confiscation Possible? Yes
Ignition Interlock Device Possible? Yes

New York DWI Resources

Consult an Experienced New York DWI Attorney 

Remember, it's never okay to drink too much and drive. You put yourself and others at risk. Furthermore, a DWI conviction will result in steep fines, loss of driving privileges, and sometimes jail time or community service. Besides, this can set you back in terms of achieving your life goals. A skilled New York DWI attorney will work on your behalf to help keep any penalties to a minimum. 

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