According to DMV, repeat Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) offenders risk an increased jail term, revocation of their driving license, and a fine. The extent of these penalties is dependent on the number of past DWI offenses and the years between successive convictions. An aggravated DWI that led to death carries more severe penalties.
What are the penalties for driving while impaired?
New York State is serious about DWI and has set heavy penalties for offenders. A DWI can move from a Class A misdemeanor to a class six felony, depending on the conviction history.
First-time offenders in New York can often avoid jail terms but still get harsher penalties than many other states. These penalties include cash fines of up to $500, license revocation for up to six months, and increased insurance premiums.
A second DWI conviction is considered a Class E felony that carries possible jail time of up to four years, a fine of up to $1,000, and a license suspension for four years. A third DWI conviction can result in a fine of up to $2,000, license revocation for up to five years, and possible jail time for up to seven years. After a third conviction, the law requires the offender to install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) on every family car.
Four or more convictions for DWI within the past 25 years can result in a jail sentence of up to seven years and a permanent revocation of the driving license.
Plea bargains for those convicted of DWI
In a criminal case, plea bargains are sometimes used when an accused agrees to plead guilty in exchange for a less severe penalty. In some states, a DWI can be negotiated via plea bargain to a lesser charge, like reckless driving. However, in New York, such plea bargains are rare for first-time offenders, and repeat offenders are completely ineligible.
License reinstatement depends on the extent of harm caused by the DWI and the number of convictions. For repeat offenders convicted of three or more DWIs in the last 25 years who did not cause a fatal accident, the offender will be denied relicensing for two years after the statutory revocation period and receive a problem driver restriction for another two years. In the case of a severe accident, the offender will be denied relicensing for five years and receive a five-year problem driver restriction upon reinstatement.