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DWI Subsequent Offenses

DWI Subsequent Offenses

As a “priorable” offense, each subsequent charge that you face for driving while intoxicated (DWI) in New York will come with higher potential penalties if you get convicted. This makes having a skilled DWI-defense attorney from Young & Associates on your side absolutely critical if you have been charged for drunk driving a third or subsequent time. Contact them online for legal help.

Different Charges for Different BAC Levels

New York's DWI laws are rare in that there are different categories of inebriation, based on your blood alcohol content (BAC):

  • A BAC below 0.08% can lead to a charge of driving while alcohol impaired (DWAI)
  • A BAC between 0.08% and 0.18% leads to a charge of DWI
  • A BAC over 0.18% leads to a charge of aggravated DWI

Additionally, you could face an aggravated DWI charge if you were arrested for being under the influence and you were driving a car with a passenger under the age of 15.

The Look Back Period for DWI Charges in New York

DWI charges become more severe if you have had prior convictions for drunk driving in the past ten years. Charges for aggravated DWI or for DWAI, on the other hand, only become more severe if the prior offense was within the past five years. Whichever time period applies to your case, it is the look-back period for New York's drunk driving laws.

Penalties for a Third or Subsequent Offense of DWAI

If you are being charged with DWAI and have had two or more convictions for a drunk driving related offense in the past five years, your charge will most likely be raised to a misdemeanor offense, which carries the following penalties:

  • Between $750 and $1,500 in fines
  • Up to 180 days in jail
  • A suspension of your driver's license that last for at least 18 months, without the possibility of a conditional license
  • A five year waiting period before you are allowed to get a new driver's license, plus another five years with an Ignition Interlock Device
  • Mandatory completion of an alcohol rehabilitation course
  • Three years of probation
  • Court fees of around $400
  • Attendance at a drunk driving victim impact panel
  • SR-22 insurance requirement

Penalties for a Third or Subsequent Offense of DWI or Aggravated DWI

If your most recent charge is for DWI or aggravated DWI, rather than for DWAI, the offense is a Class D Felony rather than a misdemeanor. This comes with enhanced penalties if you have two or more offenses within the past ten years:

  • Fines of between $2,000 and $10,000
  • Up to seven years in jail, with a 10-day minimum if the prior offenses were within the past five years
  • A license suspension of at least 18 months, with no possibility of a conditional license
  • A waiting period of five before you are allowed to relicense, plus another five years with an Ignition Interlock Device in your vehicle
  • Completion of an alcohol rehabilitation course before applying for a new license
  • Five years of probation
  • Court fees over $500
  • Attendance at a victim panel for drunk drivers
  • SR-22 insurance

Implied Consent Law Violations

By driving on the roads in New York, you are presumed to have given your implied consent to take a chemical BAC test, like a blood test or a breathalyzer, whenever lawfully requested by a police officer. Refusing to take such a test violates New York's implied consent law. Refusing a second or subsequent time within a period of five years, or refusing a test within five years of a previous DWI conviction, comes with a $750 fine, an automatic license suspension of 18 months, and a $100 fee to relicense.

Defenses to Subsequent DWI Charges

The defenses that can be used to protect yourself against a first DWI offense can also be used to defend against a subsequent allegation. These include:

  • A traffic stop unsubstantiated by probable cause
  • An illegal search or seizure
  • Miscalibrated or poorly-administered BAC tests

Over 25 Years Experience

When you've been charged with a DWI or traffic offense, call for an attorney with over 25 years experience who is also a retired New York Police Department Sergeant who knows both sides.