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Understanding the Implications of NY DWI Laws for Drivers Under 21

  • December 4, 2013

Driving while intoxicated is not only dangerous but also regarded a serious offense punishable by law. As in most states, NY DWI laws are strict and serve the purpose of deterring similar offenses especially in a state where DWI cases are rampant. The State Justice Department reported 25, 169 cases of driving under the influence in New York in 2012. As a driver under 21 years, do not expect minor ramifications when you are charged with DWI in New York. Here is a summary of the implications of NY DWI Laws for drivers under 21 years. As per NY DWI laws, you are guilty of a DWI when your blood alcohol concentration is 0.02% or more. For a first time DWI offense, you stand to lose your driving license for six months and you must pay $100 for the termination of the suspension. You are also fined a $125 civil penalty. Other additional costs include installing the ignition interlock device as part of your penalty and attending NY Drinking Driver Program. For a second time DWI, you face similar penalties except this time your driver’s license is revoked for a year. If you refuse to undergo a chemical test within five years after a DWI charge, you are charged up to $750 in fines. The implied consent law in NY underscores that all drivers agree to chemical testing when suspected to be driving while intoxicated.

NY DWI laws consider DWI a criminal offense that becomes part of your criminal record. The penalties for under 21 drivers can be more severe when there are other aggravating circumstances. An aggravated DWI in New York is applied for drivers with a 0.18% or higher BAC. In this case, the driver faces possible jail time for a second time DWI. If you cause the death of someone else while driving, you could be charged with vehicular manslaughter on top of your DWI charge.

Note that NY has a zero tolerance law that implies drivers under 21 should not consume any alcohol prior to driving. If they do so, they are likely to record a BAC of 0.02% or more and are considered to be breaking the law. It is also significant to understand that there is no possible plea bargain when charged with a DWI in NY.