New York City DWI Lawyer

New York Penalties for DWI and DWAI Charges

When it comes to DWI tickets in the NYC area, it can be a pretty serious charge and one that often requires legal counsel and representation. When that happens, turn to the Law Office of M Daniel Bach. The state of New York issues different penalties for individual DWIs and DWAI cases that get based on the severity of the crime. The frequency of the crimes also gets put into consideration. So if you need legal counsel and/or representation for a DWI ticket from the NYC area, turn to Bach Law Office! We have years of experience handling DWIs and aiding in the lowering of the penalties.

Contact Bach Law

As well as fight various traffic tickets in general. The number for our office is 212-904-1900. When you call, we can provide you with a no-obligation consultation. Get expert counseling and representation when you turn to the Law Office of M Daniel Bach.


The laws for DWAI and DUI/DWI vary in the state of New York, which can lead to confusing circumstances for those involved. A DWAI offense is notable because the charges can be customized according to what manner of intoxication you were under at the time of the arrest. For example, someone can be charged with DWAI-drugs if they were under the influence of drugs. And subsequently be charged with DWAI-alcohol if they were driving under the influence of alcohol.

In the state of New York, DWAI charges are, for the most part, less severe than a DWI charge. That is due to the fact that the BAC is lower for a DWAI charge. Typical convictions for a DWAI charge involve penalties like fines up to $1000, jail time for up to one year, three years of probation, and an automatic revocation of the driver's license for at least six months. And with each subsequent DWAI charge, the penalties will increase. And if you rack up enough DWAI charges, then it may result in a felony instead of its usual misdemeanor.

For DWI laws in the state of New York, they are almost exclusively used for driving while under the influence of alcohol. However, some other drug impairments can warrant this type of charge. On the whole, a DWI is more serious than a DWAI offense and carries a heavier penalty for most cases.

When it comes to penalties on the lower end, there are some similarities between a DWI and DWAI. However, a DWI is typically higher in terms of fines, jail times, and license revocation periods. On top of that, a DWI offender will be forced to install an engine interlock device on their car. This interlock device acts as a personal breathalyzer that connects to the car's engine. To start the car, the driver must breathe into the interlock device and even a hint of alcohol will lock the engine. DWI convictions require the driver to use this device for at least one year. 

For both DWI and DWAI charges, the more frequent the charges the steeper the penalties. 

New York Penalties for DWI Tickets

New York state's penalties for DWIs and DWAIs vary depending on a few different factors. Most notably the number of offenses for each type of ticket.

First Offense

A mandatory fine ranging between $500 and $1000. No minimum jail time is required. The driver's license is revoked for at least 6 months.

Second Offense

If prior DWI occurred within the past 5 years, either 5 days in jail or 30 days of community service is required. 

Third Offense

If the 2 prior DWIs occurred within the past 5 years, there is a requirement of either 10 days in jail or 60 days of community service.

New York Penalties for DWAI Tickets

In general, the penalties for DWAIs are less severe than a DWI. For a DWAI, the BACs are less than 0.08%. However, the specifics of the penalties can only be determined on a case-by-case basis after negotiations in court. New York does have specific charges in place for DWAIs that involve a combination of drugs, alcohol, and repeat offenses. For these cases, the penalties can be more severe than first offense DWIs. Here are the various charges and subsequent penalties for DWAIs.

First Offense for Driving While Ability Impaired by Combination of Alcohol & Drugs

A mandatory fine between $500 and $1000. Up to 1 year in jail. License revoked for at least 6 months.

2nd DWAI Violation Within 5 Years

Mandatory fine between $500 and $750. Up to 30 days in jail. License revoked for at least 6 months.

Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated

Mandatory fine between $1000 and $2500. Up to 1 year in jail. Driver's license revoked for at least 1 year.

Chemical Test Refusal

Mandatory $500 civil penalty. License gets revoked for at least 1 year or 18 months for commercial drivers.

Three or more alcohol or drug related convictions or refusals within 10 years may result in a permanent revocation of driver's license. Greater penalties can apply for multiple alcohol or drug violations within a 25-year period. This means it is imperative that you have a lawyer on your side that will fight for you, otherwise you are at risk for greater punishment.