Law enforcement increased DWI patrols during the 2012 holiday season

Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

The holidays are a time to enjoy the company of friends and family - and it is not uncommon for alcohol to be involved in the festivities. However, if a person gets behind the wheel after having had some alcohol-related holiday fun, the driver may face serious consequences if caught.

In November 2012, the Westchester County District Attorney announced that during the holiday season law enforcement in Westchester County, similar to other police forces throughout New York, would increase patrol efforts in order to look for people who are driving under the influence as part of the national "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" impaired driving enforcement campaign. In addition, she emphasized that the Westchester District Attorney's Office and other District Attorney's offices around the state were prepared to prosecute those arrested for DWI within the fullest extent of the law.

According to numbers released January 2, 2013, New York State police made a total of 538 arrests for suspicion of DWI during the campaign, which ran from December 14, 2012 through January 1, 2013.

New York State drunk driving laws

If a person is convicted of a DWI offense in New York State, he or she faces the following penalties:

  • First offense: The first time someone in New York is convicted of DWI, he or she could face up to one year in jail, a fine that ranges from $500 to $1,000 and a minimum license suspension of six months. In addition, a judge may require that the driver have an ignition interlock device installed in the car at the driver's expense.
  • Second offense: When drivers are convicted of DWI for the second time in New York, they can face up to four years in jail and a fine ranging from $1,000 to $5,000. In addition, these drivers must perform community service for 30 days and will have their licenses suspended for a minimum of one year.
  • Third offense: Someone who is convicted three times of DWI may face up to seven years in jail, 60 days of community service and a fine of up to $10,000. In addition, these drivers will be required to have ignition interlock devices installed in their cars and their licenses will be suspended for at least one year.
  • Driving with an underage passenger: In an effort to strengthen drunk driving laws, the legislature passed a measure that makes it a felony for a drunk driver to have a minor in the car. If convicted of this offense, drivers face up to four years in jail and a fine of up to $5,000. In addition, if the minor is the driver's child, Child Protective Services may step in and launch an investigation.

Have you been charged with an alcohol-related offense?

If you have been charged with an alcohol-related driving offense, you should not take it lightly. There are serious consequences for being convicted of these crimes, so it is best if you consult a qualified attorney who can help you navigate your way through your case. These cases can be complicated, so look for a criminal attorney who has experience with DWI cases.