New York has two sets of procedures that you must attend to when you have been charged with a DWI—administrative and judicial. We suggest that you consult with a DWI attorney immediately to make sure you get the best advice for your particular situation as laws are always changing.
Administrative License Revocation (ALR) Procedures
New York DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles)
New York is one of 42 states that has implemented ALR which means that your license will be confiscated immediately if your BAC is above .08 OR if you refuse a BAC test. Your license will either be suspended or revoked at that point, even though you have not been officially convicted in a criminal trial. In fact, you can be charged with an administrative license suspension even if you are not later charged with driving under the influence offense. This action was designed to be in addition to and separate from the traditional DWI judicial conviction penalties such as license suspension, jail time, community service hours, ignition interlock device (IID), and alcohol and drug rehabilitation.
You will be given a 10 day grace period during which you can drive under a temporary driving permit issued by the officer at the scene. During that time, you can request a hearing to challenge this case. This case will be heard by an administrative law judge. If you do not request a hearing, your license will be automatically suspended on the 10th day until the prosecution is done. After the suspension period, you will have a restricted license allowing you to drive to work or school, health care providers, parole or probation meetings, drug and alcohol counseling, court-approved locations, and emergencies.
Remember that this is a separate case from the judicial case, with separate authorities and separate rulings. This can be a very important influence upon the judicial procedures, but you must act very quickly if you wish to challenge this.
In New York, the drunk driving law prohibits a person from driving when they have a BAC of .08% or higher. Courts are required to order the installation and monitoring of an interlock device for any driver whose BAC levels are .08% or higher, even for a first offense.
License Revocation, Fines and Jail
DWI Offenses and Penalties
- First Offense – Misdemeanor: $500 to $1,000 fine, [$1,000 to $2,500 if BAC 0.18 or more], up to 1 year in jail, minimum 6 months license revocation [minimum 1 year revocation if BAC 0.18 or more], and ignition interlock restriction for a period of not less than 6 months upon license reinstatement. May be eligible for a conditional license if you participate in the New York States Drinking Driver Program (DDP), and may be required to attend a victims impact program.
- Second Offense – Class E Felony: $1,000 to $5,000 fine, 5 days to 4 years jail (or at least 30 days community service), minimum 1-year license revocation, [minimum 18 months revocation if BAC 0.18 or more], ignition interlock restriction for a period of not less than 6 months upon license renewal, and alcohol or substance abuse assessment and treatment as required. May be required to attend a victims impact program.
- Third and Fourth Offense – Class D Felony: $2,000 to $10,000 fine, 10 days to 7 years jail (or at least 60 days community service), minimum 1-year license revocation plus 5 years license denial from DMV, [minimum 18 months revocation if BAC 0.18 or more + 5 years license denial from DMV], will be classed as a problem driver, ignition interlock restriction required for a period of 5 years upon license renewal, and alcohol or substance abuse assessment and treatment as required. DMV may not re-license permanently (depending on driving record and may be required to attend a victims impact program.
- Fifth Offense – Class D Felony (classed as a persistently dangerous driver): $2,000 to $10,000 fine, 10 days to 7 years jail (or at least 60 days community service), and permanently denied re-licensing (subject to compelling or extenuating circumstances).
DWAI (Driving While Ability Impaired)
- You can be charged with DWAI if your driving ability is impaired even though your alcohol BAC (blood alcohol concentration) is above 0.05 and less than 0.08. Penalties range from $300 to $1,500 fine, up to 180 days in jail, and a minimum of 90 days license suspension. Penalties will be based upon previous convictions, age, and circumstances.