In New York, if you operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or greater, you will be charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI). In addition, those operating a commercial vehicle with a BAC of 0.04% or greater will also face a DWI conviction. Alcohol severely hinders one’s critical driving abilities needed to operate a vehicle safely and on property. If you operate a vehicle while you are intoxicated you are failing to exercise reasonable care to ensure everyone’s safety on the road. New York carries harsh penalties for DWIs such as hefty fines, license suspension, probation, installation of an ignition interlock device, and even jail time. However, the penalties vary in severity depending on whether you have any previous convictions and what your documented BAC was. If you have been charged with a first-offense DWI, it is imperative to take action as soon as possible. Contact a skilled Garden City, NY First Offense DUI/DWI Attorney who can fight on your behalf to defend your rights. In addition, please continue reading to learn more about the penalties one may face in New York for a first-offense DWI.
Is it possible to be sent to jail for a first-offense DWI in New York?
As mentioned above, the penalties for a DWI vary in severity depending on whether you have had previous DWI convictions and what your BAC was. In New York, first-offense DWI convictions are considered misdemeanors. However, this does not mean it does not carry harsh penalties. It is entirely possible to face jail time for a first-offense DWI conviction. The potential penalties for a first-offense DWI include the following:
- Fines range from $500-$1,000
- 6-month license revocation
- Enrollment in an alcohol education program New York Drinking Driver Program (DDP)
- Jail time up to 1 year
As you can see, an individual can be faced with jail time for a first-offense DWI conviction as well as other significant penalties as drunk driving is a serious criminal offense.
What if I am under the age of 21?
Depending on your age, you will face different penalties for a first-offense DWI. In New York, if you are under the legal drinking age of 21 years old and operate a vehicle with a BAC of 0.02% or greater you will have violated New York’s zero-tolerance policy. In the U.S. to consume, possess, and purchase alcohol you must be 21 years old. Essentially, the zero-tolerance policy means the law does not tolerate underage drinking and driving. If you are charged with a first-offense underage DWI, you will most likely not face jail time. However, other potential penalties may include:
- Fines and fees
- 6-month license suspension
- Enrollment in an alcohol education program (DDP)
- Installation of an ignition interlock device (IID)
In addition, if a driver under the age of 21 refuses to take a chemical test in violation of implied consent laws, they will face other strict penalties.
Ultimately, motorists can face jail time as a potential penalty for a DWI conviction in New York. In the unfortunate event that you have been charged with a first-offense DWI, please don’t hesitate to contact one of our experienced attorneys who can help you navigate your legal options. Allow our firm to fight on your behalf and defend your interests today.