Penalties for Alcohol and Drug Related Crimes in New York

New York Drug and DUI Penalties Infographic

New York Drug and DUI Penalties Infographic

New York enforces harsh criminal penalties for DWI (driving while intoxicated), DWAI (driving while ability impaired), breathalyzer test refusals, and other offenses related to driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.  If you or one of your family members was charged with DUI in Queens, Manhattan, or Brooklyn, you should consult with an experienced Queens DWI lawyer as soon as possible.  With skilled and aggressive legal representation, it may be possible to reduce the criminal penalties you face, or even have your case dismissed altogether.

NY DUI Penalties Infographic

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NY Fines, Fees, and Surcharges for DWAI, DWI, and Breathalyzer Refusals

Criminal fines increase as offenses accumulate.  For example, the New York fine for refusing a breathalyzer test is $500 for a first offense, but increases to $750 for a second offense.  New York fines for drug- and alcohol-related offenses include the following:

  • First Offense
    • DWAI – $500
    • DWAI (Combination) – $1,000
    • DWAI, DWI (Drugs) – $1,000
    • Aggravated DWI – $2,500
    • Aggravated DWI with Child – $2,500
    • Chemical Test Refusal – $500
    • Zero Tolerance Violations – $125
  • Second Offense
    • DWAI – $750
    • DWAI (Combination) – $5,000
    • DWAI, DWI (Drugs) – $5,000
    • Aggravated DWI – $5,000
    • Aggravated DWI with Child – $10,000
    • Chemical Test Refusal – $750
    • Zero Tolerance Violations – $125
  • Third Offense
    • DWAI (Combination) – $10,000
    • DWAI, DWI (Drugs) – $10,000
    • Aggravated DWI – $10,000

It’s important to point out that the fines listed above represent only a portion of what you will actually be required to pay if you are convicted.  In addition to your criminal fines, you will also be ordered to pay:

  • Victim restitution, which is compensation for harm to the victim, such as medical bills or property damage.
  • A mandatory surcharge, which is:
    • $260 for traffic infractions
    • $400 for misdemeanor offenses
    • $520 for felony offenses

NY Jail and Prison Sentencing for Driving While Intoxicated by Drugs or Alcohol

In addition to being heavily fined, you also risk incarceration.  Depending on the nature of the offense, the jail or prison sentence may last for several weeks or several years.

The more offenses a defendant has previously been convicted of, the longer the maximum jail term he or she may be sentenced to.  The maximum New York DUI sentencing possibilities are listed below.

  • First Offense
    • DWAI – 15 days
    • DWAI (Combination) – 1 year
    • DWAI, DWI (Drugs) – 1 year
    • Aggravated DWI – 1 year
    • Aggravated DWI with Child – 4 years
  • Second Offense
    • DWAI – 30 days
    • DWAI (Combination) – 4 years
    • DWAI, DWI (Drugs) – 4 years
    • Aggravated DWI – 4 years
    • Aggravated DWI with Child – 7 years
  • Third Offense
    • DWAI (Combination) – 7 years
    • DWAI, DWI (Drugs) – 7 years
    • Aggravated DWI – 7 years

For more information about criminal sentencing, you may also be interested in our articles on:

NY License Suspension Periods for Driving Under the Influence

Fines and incarceration are not the only penalties a defendant convicted of DWI may face.  The defendant will also temporarily lose their driving privileges due to a driver’s license suspension or revocation.

Like fines and sentencing, the length of time for which your license is revoked or suspended depends on the nature and severity of the offense, as well as your prior record of offenses, if any.  New York DUI license suspension penalties are explained below.

In addition to having your driver’s license suspended, you may also be required to install in your vehicle an Ignition Interlock Device (IID).  These devices, which work like breathalyzers, will prevent your car’s engine from starting if alcohol is detected on your breath.

  • First Offense
    • DWAI – 90 days
    • DWAI (Combination) – 6 months minimum, IID
    • DWAI, DWI (Drugs) – 6 months, IID
    • Aggravated DWI – 1 year minimum, IID
    • Aggravated DWI with Child – 1 year minimum, IID
    • Chemical Test Refusal – 1 year
    • Zero Tolerance Violations – 6 months, with $100 fee
  • Second Offense
    • DWAI – 6 months minimum
    • DWAI (Combination) – 1 year minimum, IID
    • DWAI, DWI (Drugs) – 1 year minimum, IID
    • Aggravated DWI – 18 months minimum, IID
    • Aggravated DWI with Child – 18 months minimum, IID
    • Chemical Test Refusal – 18 months
    • Zero Tolerance Violations – 1 year, or until age 21, with $100 fee
  • Third Offense
    • DWAI (Combination) – 1 year minimum, IID
    • DWAI, DWI (Drugs) – 1 year minimum, IID
    • Aggravated DWI – 18 months minimum, IID

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Get Legal Help from an Experienced Queens DUI Defense Attorney

If you or one of your loved ones was arrested for intoxicated driving in Manhattan, Queens, or Brooklyn, or if you or a family member received a desk appearance ticket (DAT), you need a tough, knowledgeable, and experienced defense attorney on your side.  The New York criminal lawyers of Sullivan & Galleshaw have more than 30 years of experience representing defendants charged with DWI, DWAI, simple possession of controlled substances, and other crimes related to drugs and alcohol.  Depending on the circumstances, we may be able to have your case dismissed before trial.

Don’t wait to start assessing your legal options with a drug possession attorney.  To set up a free and confidential legal consultation, call the law offices of Sullivan & Galleshaw right away at (800) 730-0135.