In our last post, we talked about the checkpoints associated with drunk driving and sobriety that can pop up around New York. In that post, we talked about how the penalties that are placed on someone convicted of a DUI are very serious and can affect the individual in many ways. But, specifically, what are the penalties that await a person convicted of a DUI?

First, let’s answer a seemingly simple question: how do you get a DUI in New York? Most people would answer with “a blood alcohol level of 0.08.” This is true, however it isn’t the only way to get a DUI in New York. The 0.08 blood alcohol limit applies to all drivers over the age of 21. But if you are under 21, the blood alcohol limit in New York is 0.02. Additionally, if you are driving a commercial vehicle, the blood alcohol limit is 0.04.

Now, how about those penalties? The scope of the punishment depends on the number of DUIs you have previously received. First time DUI offenders can get up to a year in jail, up to $1,000 in penalties and fines, and a license suspension that lasts a minimum of six months.

A second DUI offense triggers an automatic ignition interlock device, as well as increasing the maximum jail time to four years and the minimum license suspension to a year. The penalties, fines and other costs associated with the second DUI will also be much higher.

A third DUI offense maintains the ignition interlock and 1-year license suspension rules, while increasing the maximum jail time to seven years. Again, the financial costs of such an offense dramatically increase.

Remember that every DUI case is different, with circumstances that may change the exact punishments that are handed down by the courts.

Source:, “New York DWI Laws,” Accessed July 28, 2014