What are the penalties for driving while intoxicated in NY?

Driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol can not only cause grave injury and loss of life, it can also result in a number of significant penalties in the state of New York. Depending on the circumstances at the time of your arrest, you could potentially face years in jail as well as exorbitant fines and courts costs. In some cases, being aware of the potential legal ramifications can serve as a deterrent to those who may not consider a driving while intoxicated offense a serious one.

According to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, the penalty you receive is largely dependent on the type of violation you are accused of. Driving while intoxicated (DWI) refers to drivers who are only under the influence of alcohol, while driving while ability impaired by a single drug other than alcohol (DWAI/Drug) involves drivers impaired by some drug in their system. Drivers who are impaired by both alcohol as well as another type of drug will face a driving while ability impaired by a combined influence of drugs or alcohol (DWAI/Combination).

When it comes to the actual punishments, penalties can vary quite a bit. DWI and DWAI/Drug typically entail license suspension or revocation for a period of six months, fines ranging from $500 to $1,000 and the possibility of a prison term of up to one year. Subsequent offenses will incur higher penalties, including a maximum seven-year prison term for third DWI and DWAI/Drug offense.

Additionally, it’s important to know the factors involved when it comes to inebriation. This is particularly pertinent regarding the consumption of alcohol, which can have varying effects depending on the circumstances. For instance, how much you weigh can impact the amount of alcohol you can consume before surpassing the legal limit. Gender is another factor to keep in mind, as women typically need to consume less alcohol before becoming inebriated. There are other considerations as well, such as how long you’ve been drinking and whether you had any food as you were drinking. 

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