New York DWI Laws & Penalties

New York DWI law states that it is unlawful for any person who is under the influence of alcohol, drugs, intoxicants or any combination thereof with a blood alcohol concentration of .08% or greater to operate a motor vehicle in the state of New York.

It is not necessary for a person who is stopped on suspicion of driving under the influence in New York to show the typical signs of impairment one would expect to see in someone who has been consuming alcohol or drugs, just the fact that that person's BAC level is above the legal limit of .08% or greater will get you arrested for a DWI offense in New York.  Anyone who has a BAC level between .05% - .07% will be arrested for DWAI.



Even before an officer stops someone on suspicion of DWI or DWAI, the officer is already starting to build a case against that individual starting with observing the individual's driving behavior prior to initiating a DWI stop.  The officer is going to be observing whether or not you are swerving within your own lane or whether or not you are swerving over the lane markers.

He will also be looking for other signs like excessively wide turns, how you are maintaining your speed versus the posted speed limit and other various observations.  All of this is going on even before the officer initiates a DWI stop.

When you are stopped on suspicion of DWI or DWAI the officer is going to ask you to perform what they term as some simple field sobriety tests (these tests are difficult for a person who has not consumed any alcohol to get right).  It should be noted that you are not required by law to submit to the field sobriety tests.

You are however, required by New York's implied consent law to submit to a chemical test.  If you refuse to submit to a chemical test the arresting officer must inform you of the penalties for a test refusal and then ask you a second time if you will submit to a chemical test.

Failure to submit to a chemical test will result in an automatic minimum 1-year revocation of your driving privileges for a first time refusal.  A second refusal within 5-years of a previous DWI related charge or refusal will result in a minimum 18-month revocation of your driving privileges.

Every driver who holds a New York driver's license has agreed to the states implied consent law when they initially accepted their New York driver's license.  Basically the implied consent law says that if you are stopped on suspicion of driving under the influence you shall submit to a chemical test to check for alcohol, drugs or intoxicants in your body.

Obtaining A New York Conditional License

You may be eligible for a conditional license in New York following a DWI or DWAI offense if you meet the requirements for one.  You must not have been convicted of a previous DWI charge within the past 5-years and you must attend the New York Drinking Drivers Program or DDP.  The forms for the DDP are available here.

In order to complete the DDP you must attend seven 2 to 3 hour weekly sessions totaling 16 hours to complete the program.  Once you have successfully completed all of the requirements of the program you will receive a "Notice of Completion".  A copy of the notice will also be sent to the DMV, as long as there are no other outstanding issues with the DMV you will receive your conditional license.

The DMV is also going to require you to file an SR-22 form with them before issuing you a conditional license.  An SR-22 is basically an agreement between your insurance company and the DMV that says that if for any reason there is even a one day lapse in your insurance coverage your insurer is obligated to notify the DMV of the lapse and the DMV will revoke your license immediately.

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New York First Offense DWI/DWAI

A New York first offense DWI/DWAI is a Misdemeanor offense.  A first offense conviction carries the following fines and penalties:

  • Jail time: A first offense DWI conviction will result in a maximum jail sentence of up to 1year. If the first offense was an A-DWI (Aggravated DWI) the minimum jail sentence will be 1 year.  A first offense DWAI conviction will result in a jail sentence of up to 15 days.  The actual jail sentence will be at the court's discretion.
  • Fines: The fine amount for a first offense DWI or DWAI will be between $500 - $1,000 plus court costs.  The fine amount for a first offense A-DWI offense will be between $1,000 - $2,000 plus court costs.  At the court's discretion they may order you to just serve jail time versus paying any fine amounts.  Even if the court orders you to serve jail time in lieu of any fines, you will still have to pay all associated court costs.
  • Test refusal: A first offense DWI refusal will result in a 1 year license suspension.
  • Ignition interlock: The.
  • License revocation: Your license will be revoked for at least 1-year following a first offense DWI or A-DWI conviction.  Your license will be suspended for at least 90 days for a first offense DWAI conviction.  You may be eligible for a conditional license if you meet the requirements for one and deemed eligible.

    The New York DMV will also require you to show proof of financial responsibility in the form of a New York SR22 insurance policy before they will issue you a conditional license or reinstate your license following your revocation period.

    You are also going to have to keep your SR22 insurance policy enforce for a period of 3-years following the reinstatement of your driver's license.  Failure to do so will result in your 3-year SR22 filing period starting all over again.

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New York Second Offense DWI/DWAI

A New York second offense DWI within 10-years is a Class E Felony offense.  A second offense DWAI conviction within 5-years is a traffic infraction.  The fines and penalties for a second offense convictions are as follows:

  • Jail time: A second offense DWI conviction will result in a maximum jail sentence of up to 4-years with a minimum of 5 days in jail.  If the second offense was an A-DWI (Aggravated DWI) the maximum jail sentence is up to 4-years.  A second offense DWAI conviction will result in a jail sentence of up to 30 days.  The actual jail sentence beyond the minimums will be at the court's discretion.
  • Fines: The fine amount for a second offense DWI or A-DWI will be between $1,000 - $5,000 plus court costs.  The fine amount for a second offense DWAI offense will be between $500 - $750 plus court costs.  At the court's discretion they may order you to just serve jail time versus paying any fine amounts.  Even if the court orders you to serve jail time in lieu of any fines, you will still have to pay all associated court costs.
  • Community service: You may be required to perform 30 days of community service for a second offense.
  • Ignition interlock: Second time offenders may be required to have an ignition interlock device installed on their vehicle prior to having their license reinstated at the end of their revocation period.
  • License revocation: Your license will be revoked for at minimum of 1-year following a second offense DWI conviction.  Your license will be revoked for a minimum of 18-months for a second offense A-DWI conviction.  Your license will be revoked for at least 6-months for a second offense DWAI conviction.  You may be eligible for a conditional license if you meet the requirements for one and deemed eligible.

    The New York DMV will also require you to show proof of financial responsibility in the form of a New York SR22 policy before they will issue you a conditional license or reinstate your license following your revocation period.

    You are also going to have to keep your SR22 insurance policy enforce for a period of 3-years following the reinstatement of your driver's license.  Failure to do so will result in your 3-year SR22 filing period starting all over again.

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New York Third or Subsequent Offense DWI/DWAI

A New York third or subsequent offense DWI within 10-years is a Class D Felony offense. A third offense DWAI conviction within 10-years is a Misdemeanor offense.  The fines and penalties for a third offense convictions are as follows:

  • Jail time: A third offense DWI conviction will result in a maximum jail sentence of up to 7-years with a minimum of 10 days in jail.  If the third offense was an A-DWI (Aggravated DWI) the maximum jail sentence is up to 7-years.  A third offense DWAI conviction will result in a jail sentence of up to 180 days.  The actual jail sentence beyond the minimums will be at the court's discretion.
  • Fines: The fine amount for a third offense DWI or A-DWI will be between $2,000 - $10,000 plus court costs.  The fine amount for a third offense DWAI offense will be between $750 - $1,500 plus court costs.  At the court's discretion they may order you to just serve jail time versus paying any fine amounts.  Even if the court orders you to serve jail time in lieu of any fines, you will still have to pay all associated court costs.
  • Community service: You may be required to perform 60 days of community service for a second offense.
  • Ignition interlock: Third time offenders may be required to have an ignition interlock device installed on their vehicle prior to having their license reinstated at the end of their revocation period.
  • License revocation: Your license will be revoked for at minimum of 1-year following a third offense DWI conviction.  Your license will be revoked for a minimum of 18-months for a second offense A-DWI conviction.  Your license will be revoked for at least 6-months for a third offense DWAI conviction.  You may be eligible for a conditional license if you meet therequirements for one and deemed eligible.

    The New York DMV will also require you to show proof of financial responsibility in the form of a New York SR22 policy before they will issue you a conditional license or reinstate your license following your revocation period.

    You are also going to have to keep your SR22 insurance policy enforce for a period of 3-years following the reinstatement of your driver's license.  Failure to do so will result in your 3-year SR22 filing period starting all over again.

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New York CDL DWI

A person operating a commercial motor vehicle in the state of New York while under the influence of alcohol, drugs or an intoxicant with a blood alcohol concentration of .04% or greater or failing to submit to a chemical test will be arrested for DWI and your CDL will be revoked for a period of 1-year following a first offense violation.

If you were carrying hazardous materials at the time, your CDL will be revoked for 3-years. A second offense violation will result in a permanent CDL revocation, you will never be able to drive or operate a CMV again.  A CMV operator stopped and found to have any measurable amount of alcohol less than .04% in their system will be issued an "out-of-service" notice and will not be allowed to drive for the next 24-hours.

New York DWI Under 21 Years of Age

Your license will be suspended for 6-months following a first offense violation of New York's zero tolerance law.  You will also have to pay a civil penalty of $125 plus a $100 license reinstatement fee following your suspension period.

A second offense under the age of 21 will result in your license being revoked for at least 1-year or until you turn 21 whichever is longer.  You will also have to pay a civil penalty of $125 plus a $100 license reinstatement fee following your revocation period.

If a person under 21 is arrested for having a BAC of .08% or greater they will face the same charges as someone over 21 would be facing for the same offense.

New York SR22 Requirements

Before the New York DMV will reinstate your license following your revocation period or issue you a conditional license, they will require you to file an SR22 form with them before issuing you a new license. You will be required to carry your SR22 insurance for a period of 3-years.

At anytime during this 3-year period if there is a lapse in your New York SR22 insurance coverage, your insurance provider is obligated by law to immediately inform the New York DMV of the lapse.  If a lapse in coverage occurs, the New York DMV will immediately revoke your license and you will be required to re-file an SR22 form with the DMV before they will issue you another license.

Since you are going to have to have your SR22 insurance for a period of 3-years, it is important to find the cheapest policy you can before choosing one.  DUI Process has partnered with the largest and most trusted SR22 insurance provider in the state of New York and has worked out a special discount only available here for our website visitors.

You won't be able to find a SR22 insurance policy in New York for any less. Type in your zip code below so we can provide you with the cheapest rates in your area.

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Other New York DWI Resources

  • New York First Offense DWI - First offense information including penalties, fines, potential jail time, license suspension, DWI classes, and much more.

  • New York SR22 Insurance Filing - We have compiled everything you need to know about NY's SR22 insurance and filing requirements including important addresses, phone numbers, etc.

  • New York DWI Education - We offer a complete listing of state approved DWI education classes listed by County.

  • New York Bail Bondsmen - Comprehensive list of NY's bail bond agents including address, phone, website, etc.