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What are the penalties for drunk driving offenses in New York?

Whether you are on your way home from work, dinner, a bar or a friend's place, being pulled over by a police officer tends to generate some emotions and concerns for motorists in New York and elsewhere. It might be clear in some situations why an officer pulled the person over. For example, speeding, failing to stop or failing to signal a turn or lane change are all common traffic offenses. In other cases, it might not be apparent to the driver.

If an officer believes that a New York motorist is under the influence of alcohol, certain tests will likely be conducted to confirm these speculations. The sobriety field tests and breath test are commonly used by officers and are likely to be conducted on the side of the road by the driver's stopped vehicle. Whether it is your first, second or third drunk driving charge, facing a DWI can be very challenging. Even prior to a conviction, a driver could experience serious consequences limiting his or her rights when it comes to driving privileges.

What are the penalties for drunk driving offenses in New York? When a driver receives their first DWI charge, they will face a mandatory fine that ranges between $500 and $1,000. Additionally, the driver could face up to one year in jail. For the first DWI charge, the driver will have their driver's license revoked for at least 6 months.

For a driver's second DWI, the penalties increase, making the fine $1,000 to $5,000, incarceration time up to four years and revocation time for at least one year. The penalties are harsher for the third DWI. This includes a mandatory fine ranging from $2,000 to $10,000, incarceration for up to seven years and license revocation for at least one year.

Whether it is a driver's first, second or third DWI charge, it is important to take steps to understand the charges, the possible penalties and the options available to reduce or dismiss some or all of the charges. Drivers have various defense options, and if they are able to question the legality of the stop or the collection of evidence, this could possibly help them reduce the consequences they face.

Source: Dmv.ny.gov, "Penalties for alcohol or drug-related violations," accessed June 27, 2016

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