New York State Laws and Requirements

New York DUI and DWI Laws and Penalties

In the state of New York, receiving a DUI conviction is a serious situation. If you’re convicted of a DUI, you could face penalties ranging  from a fine all the way to a lengthy prison sentence. In most cases, you’ll have to install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) even after your first offense. Understanding New York DUI laws is critical, especially if you’ve been charged with or convicted of a DUI. However, the legal system can be complicated, and determining which laws apply to your situation can be difficult.

Here are the basic New York DUI laws that every driver in the state should know.

Is it Legal to Drive? BAC Levels and Legality in New York

In the state of New York, it’s always illegal to drive if your BAC level is 0.08% or higher. This law applies to every driver, regardless of age or occupation. However, if you are an underage driver, having any alcohol in your system is illegal. Here are some BAC laws you should be aware of if you’re driving in New York.


  • Under 21 – If you’re under the age of 21, a BAC of 0.02% is illegal in New York. If you’re pulled over and your BAC test shows anything above 0.02%, it’s automatically considered to be illegal because you’re not of legal drinking age.


  • Under 18 – Any measurable sign of alcohol while driving a vehicle is illegal in the state of New York. In some cases, you may be required to go to juvenile court.
  • Commercial Vehicle – If you’re driving a vehicle that requires a commercial license in the state of New York and you’re given a sobriety test, any level above 0.04% is considered illegal due to the fact that commercial drivers have increased responsibilities and often have larger payloads than the average commuter.
  • Repeat Offender – If you’re a repeat offender, the law varies as to what’s acceptable. Consult your attorney for information relating to your specific case.




Circumstantial DUI Laws in New York

Aside from age restrictions, you’ll also face a variety of penalties depending on your specific situation. New York DUI laws assign different penalties to different drivers depending on how many offenses they’ve had in the past for driving under the influence or drunk driving. While each situation is different and it’s important to consult your attorney for case-specific information, here are the basic laws governing New York DUI convictions.

First Offense

In the state of New York, your first DUI offense can carry with it some steep penalties. Here’s what you can expect if you’ve been convicted of a DUI/DWI in New York for the first time.


  • Fines of up to $500.


  • License Suspension of up to 90 days. You’ll automatically get a suspension of a year if you refuse to take the BAC test.
  • Imprisonment  up to 15 days depending on your BAC level and other circumstances.
  • IID installation – You’ll likely be required to install an IID device in New York by a state-approved vendor. The length of time during which you’ll have to utilize the IID varies by case. You may also have to enroll in the New York Drinking Driver Program (DDP).




Second Offense

If you’re caught drinking and driving for a second time in New York, you’ll be imposed to the same variety of penalties that you were on your first offense. However, the severity of most of these penalties will be increased. You may be subjected to any one of the following penalties, or a combination thereof, if you obtain a second DUI conviction in New York.


  • Fines ranging from $500 to $750.


  • License suspension of at least six months with automatic suspension if you refuse a breathalyzer test.
  • Imprisonment of up to a year.
  • IID installation will be required for a period of time to be decided by the courts.




Third Offense

Unlike most states, New York doesn’t have any specific laws regarding what happens if you are convicted of a third DUI. If two happen within five years, the previous set of punishments will be invoked. However, there is no clear indication as to what your fines, suspension time, or prison sentence will be if you commit a third offense. Your consequences will likely be decided by the court, and you’ll have to work with your New York DUI attorney in order to find out what your options are. However, if you’re allowed to drive at all, an IID installation will almost certainly be mandatory.

Restricted Driving Privileges in New York

If you’ve been convicted of a DUI in New York, you may be able to apply for and obtain a conditional license which will allow you to drive to certain locations under a given set of parameters. In New York, this is called a conditional license. Your eligibility for a conditional license depends on a variety of factors, including the number of convictions you’ve had in the past, remedial courses you’ve taken, the type of insurance you’re carrying, and whether or not you have obtained IID installation. You may also have to meet a list of requirements set out by the court in order to apply for one.

Once you obtain your restricted driving permit, you’ll have to get an ignition interlock device installed in New York by a state-approved service provider within a certain amount of time. Your specific mandates will depend on your case, your court order, and surrounding circumstances, so be sure to ask the professionals handling your case what you need to do in order to stay out of trouble and get back on track.

IID Installation in New York

If you’ve been convicted of a DUI in New York and you’re required to install an IID, that installation will be initiated by a court order. Once you receive the order from the court you can go to a state-approved service provider for your IID installation. Depending on your county and unique situation, your court order may require you to have an IID installation that comes with a DMV connection. Only a state-approved and registered service provider will be able to fulfill the court order and help you get back on track.

While the installation of an IID can restore some of your driving privileges, you won’t always be able to drive anywhere you please. In some cases, you’ll be restricted only to work, school, and necessary appointments. Further legal proceedings and ongoing maintenance of your IID device and scheduled appointments will likely also be required.  

While the information reflected here is current as of this writing, laws do change from time to time and unique circumstances may change the penalties and requirements that you’re subject to. Contact your attorney for the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding your specific case.

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