New York DUI Laws: What to Do When You Get a DUI

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New York DUI Laws: What To Do When You Get a DUI


New York DUI Laws address three occasions of offense.  The first offense results in a fine of $500-$1,000.  There is no minimum jail time, but there is a minimum 6-month license suspension.

(Once suspended, know that you can apply for a Restricted License at a certain time. The details of your suspension dictate this timeframe.)

The second offense results in 5 days of jail time or 30 days of community service, in addition to a minimum 1-year license suspension.  Fines range from $50-$5,000.

The third offense results in a minimum 6-year license suspension.  Also, a $500-$10,000 fine and 10 days of jail time, or 60 days of community service.

The Ignition Interlock Device

Any and all of the above offenses requires usage of the IID (Ignition Interlock Device).  IID is similar to a Breathalyzer in that it measures BAC.  However, IID is attached to the dashboard of the vehicle or another interior part.  Consequently, the engine will not start if the Breathalyzer measures a BAC over the limit.

New York DUI Laws: The Look-Back Period

In New York DUI Laws, the “look-back period” is the time your DUI exists on record for the purpose of tallying your next offense.  New York Law is complex around the look-back period.  The timeframe can vary between 4, 5, 10, or 25 years, depending on the offense.

Per Se DUI and BAC

A per se DUI depends on the driver’s Blood Alcohol Content (BAC).  A driver can get a DUI with the following BAC levels:

Age / BAC level

Under 21 / .02% or more

21+ / .08% or more

Commercial license / .04% or more

Aggravated DUI

A driver with a BAC of .18 or more can get an aggravated DUI.  This results in license revocation for at least one year.  In addition, you will pay a $1,000-$2,500 fine and perhaps even spend up to one year in jail.

A second offense of aggravated DUI is a Class E felony.  You could spend up to 4 years in jail. Your license will be revoked for at least 18 months and your fines could total up to $5,000.

What Does it All Mean?

BAC means that you can get a DUI without necessarily being impaired. However, if you are impaired, you can get a DUI or DWAI (driving while ability impaired) regardless of your BAC.

Also, you can get a drug-DWAI for driving while impaired by drugs, with or without alcohol.  DWAI laws have their own set of consequences.  If you get a drug-DWAI, you have all the more reason to consult a lawyer.  There are varying levels of offenses and varying levels of consequences.

Implied Consent Laws

Among New York DUI laws exist “implied consent” laws.  New York’s “implied consent” laws require drivers to submit to a breath, blood, urine, or saliva test if asked by a police officer.  Refusal results in a license suspension of varying lengths, as follows:

  • 1st offense: 1 year
  • 2nd offense: 18 months
  • 3rd offense: 18 months

Keep in mind one fact about the 2nd and 3rd offenses.  This offense and resulting suspension apply to not only a refusal with a prior refusal.  They also apply to a refusal with a DUI in the past 5 years.

Also, know that plea-bargaining is limited in most DUI cases.  Whatever your case may be, it is essential to contact an attorney ASAP.  A proper lawyer will have all of this knowledge and more.  You need to protect your rights.  A lawyer can help you do this.

Hiring an Attorney

Whether you are going to plead guilty or innocent, an attorney is a must. Find a lawyer who is an expert in DUI law.  Ask the lawyer about other DUI cases they have covered.

Also, an attorney can help you apply for a conditional license.  If this is your first offense, you may be eligible for a temporary driving permit.

Under 21 Offenses

New York does not take these offenses lightly.  DUI Laws are designed as such that drivers under the age of 21 are not permitted even small amounts of alcohol in their system.  If you refuse a chemical test and are under 21, you face a $300 civil penalty. Plus, your license is revoked for a year and it costs $100 to re-apply for your license. Your second offense results in the same, except the civic penalty runs to $750.

Drinking Driver Program

Offenders are in many cases required to enroll in DDP, the Drinking Driver Program. The program costs $75 and consists of weekly meetings.  You could pay up to $225 in additional fees for taking DDP, as well.

In conclusion, it is important to educate yourself about New York DUI laws.  This is a good start, but there is always more to learn.  Obviously, talking with an attorney is helpful.  Arm yourself with knowledge and legal help.  In the event of a DUI, you need to protect your rights!  Also, you can consult the DMV for further information.