Drugs and alcohol can significantly affect the fine motor skills, including coordination, of those who consume them. This is why New York motorists are subject to stiff penalties if they're convicted of driving while intoxicated (DWI).
Motorists who a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or higher can be charged with a DWI in New York. That number drops to .04 for commercial drivers.
First-time violators of New York's DWI laws are subject to a mandatory fine of $500 to $1,000, a six-month license revocation and a maximum sentence of one year in jail.
Individuals who are charged with their second or third DWI in 10 years may be assessed up to $10,000 in fines. They may also face up to seven years in jail and have their license revoked for a year. Second- and third-time offenders may face a class E and D felony respectively.
Motorists under the age of 21 who are caught driving with a BAC of .02 can be charged with violating New York's Zero Tolerance Law (ZTL).
First-time violators of the ZTL face a mandatory $125 civil penalty fee and a six-month suspension of their license. They'll have to pay $100 to have the latter lifted. They won't face any jail time though.
Second-time ZTL offenders face all of the same penalties a first-time one would, but also may have their license suspended for a year or up until they reach 21. They have to pay an additional $100 to re-apply for it.
Motorists with a BAC of .18 or higher will be charged with aggravated DWI. First-time offenders face a minimum of $1,000-$2,500 in fines and both a revocation of their license and jail time lasting a year.
Those with two or more aggravated DWI convictions in 10 years will be charged with class E or D felonies. These carry with them as much as $10,000 in fines, an 18-month license revocation and up to seven years of jail time.
Having to rely on others to get you around after DWI charges have been levied against you is inconvenient. You may be unable to qualify for a commercial driver position, scholarships and certain professional licenses if convicted as well.
With the stakes as high as they are, it's important that you consult with a criminal defense attorney who can provide you with experienced and dedicated representation in your DWI case.