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What are the penalties if convicted for impaired driving?

| Mar 23, 2017 | DUI/DWi

Whether you live in New York or elsewhere, the law considers driving while intoxicated a crime. Impaired driving isn’t taken lightly in criminal court and those convicted of such behavior could face serious penalties and lifelong consequences.

Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol often results in others suffering injuries or losing their lives. As such, states outline penalties designed to help deter this type of behavior. With this in mind, what penalties could you face for impaired driving?

Drug and alcohol-related offenses

Before discussing penalties, you need to know what type of drug and alcohol-related offenses the state of New York recognizes. These include:

  • DWI: driver shows evidence of intoxication (BAC of .08 or greater)
  • Aggravated DWI: blood alcohol level is .18 or greater
  • DWAI/Alcohol: driver’s ability is impaired by alcohol (BAC between .05 and .07)
  • DWAI/Drug: driver’s ability is impaired by drugs
  • DWAI/ Combination: impairment results from drug and alcohol use
  • Chemical test refusal: failure to submit to blood or breath tests
  • Zero Tolerance: driver is under the age of 21 (BAC between .02 and .07)

If you drive a commercial vehicle, your BAC level must not exceed .04 and officers must not observe other evidence of intoxication.


You face many penalties associated with DUI or DWI charges. They typically include:

  • Fines
  • Jail or prison time
  • License suspension

The severity of the penalties will depend on the type and level of offense of which you stand accused. The consequences tied to misdemeanor cases fall below those that accompany felony charges. Of course, how you and your attorney handle your case in court may also affect the consequences you could potentially face.

Seek help with your impaired driving case

A DUI charge, in any of its forms, can hurt you personally and professionally and profoundly influence your loved ones as well. If you face accusations of impaired driving, take control of your case from the very beginning. You gain nothing by just sitting by and not fighting for yourself. Fortunately, you don’t need to go through this alone. You have the right to retain legal counsel of your choosing.

A criminal defense attorney who routinely deals with these types of charges reviews your case and assists you in pursuing a defense strategy that will help you achieve the best outcome for your circumstances. Any weakness in the prosecutions case could alter the outcome of your case. Depending on your situation, alternatives to the traditional penalties could apply to you as well.