Many New Yorkers lose right to drive for life

Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

Drivers who have been arrested on drunk driving charges in New York face serious and costly penalties.

New York is known to be hard on people arrested for traffic violations involving drugs or alcohol. As Mothers Against Drunk Driving notes, felony charges can result after only a second offense in New York. A new report issued by the New York Post highlights how nearly 4,000 drivers in the state have permanently lost their right to drive in New York.

This action was taken against people who have been convicted of at least five DWI offenses. Some people have lost their right to drive for life after only three DWI offenses if they have also amassed a certain number of points on their licenses, been involved in a fatal accident or met other criteria.

To further illustrate New York's harsh stance on driving while under the influence, almost 3,600 applications for renewal of a driver's license were denied for five more years. This happened to people with three or four DWI offenses on record but no other violations.

Other penalties for drunk driving in New York

The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles website gives an overview of the fines, jail time and other penalties that drivers can face if convicted of DWI offenses. With each subsequent conviction, the penalties become more severe and include the following:

  • Drivers can receive sentences for up to one year in jail, $1,000 in fines and the loss of driving privileges for six months for a first DWI offense. A first aggravated DWI offense will extend the driver's license suspension from six months to one year.
  • Drivers can receive sentences for up to four years in jail, $5,000 in fines and the loss of driving privileges for one year for a second DWI offense. A second aggravated DWI offense will extend the driver's license suspension from one year to 18 months. These offenses are Class E felonies in New York.
  • Drivers can receive sentences for up to seven years in jail, $10,000 in fines and the loss of driving privileges for one year for a third DWI offense. A third aggravated DWI offense will extend the driver's license suspension from one year to 18 months. These offenses are Class D felonies in New York.

In addition, any driver convicted of a DWI or aggravated DWI offense in New York might have to install and use an ignition interlock device once driving privileges are reinstated.

New York's threshold for determining intoxication

The DMV notes that the state delineates two levels of DWI offenses based upon a driver's blood alcohol content. For people with BAC levels between 0.08 and 0.16 percent, arrests can be made for DWI. For people with BAC levels of 0.17 percent or higher, arrests can be made for aggravated DWI.

Getting help after an arrest

Anyone who is arrested and charged with a DWI or aggravated DWI should know that an arrest is not a conviction. Talking to an attorney immediately is recommended for help with a good defense.

Keywords: drunk driving, DWI, arrest, penalties