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Penalties increase for repeat drunk driving offenders in New York

When drivers choose to go behind the wheel drunk, they shouldn’t be surprised if they wind up in a holding cell at the local police station.

However, a night in jail is only the beginning of the consequences you may face after a DWI stop. Depending on previous charges and your BAC level at the traffic stop, you’ll be looking at different set of penalties.

First-time offenders

In New York, individuals with a BAC level of .08 or higher may receive a DWI. However, individuals with a BAC level of .18 or higher may receive an Aggravated (AGG) DWI.

A first-time DWI offender may face a fine of $500 to $1,000, spend up to a year in jail and lose their license for six months. On the other hand, a first-time AGG DWI offender may face a fine of $1,000 to $2,500, spend up to a year in jail and lose their license for a year.

Second-time offenders

A second-time DWI or AGG DWI offender may face a fine of $1,000 to $5,000, spend up to four years in jail and lose their license for 18 months.

Third-time offenders

A third-time DWI offender may face a fine of $2,000 to $10,000, spend up to seven years in jail and face a one-year license revocation period. A third-time AGG DWI offender may face the same penalties as a third-time DWI offender with one difference — the license revocation period is 18 months rather than a year.

Criminal conviction

In addition to steep fees, imprisonment and loss of driving privileges, there are even more punishments those with drunk driving charges may come across. First offenses are misdemeanor charges, while second and third offenses are felony charges. So, any form of DWI constitutes a criminal conviction.

Having a criminal record might make it difficult to pass background checks that employers, lenders or landlords run. Plus, a DWI conviction will remain on your driving record for 15 years, which won’t exactly make your car insurance the most affordable.

Before fully accepted any punishments presented to you, try consulting an attorney. And before you make a habit of drunk driving, think about planning a sober ride or seeking addiction help.