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It might not seem like a big deal to grab a drink at happy hour and drive home after. But driving while intoxicated in New York is a serious offense. You can be put in jail, lose or have your driver’s license suspended, and/or pay hefty fines. It might be understandable if you aren’t aware of what your blood alcohol level is above the legal limit, but in the eyes of the law, it’s not an excuse.

If you live in New York and need help defending against a DWI, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney who has your best interest at heart. Lisa Pelosi has years of experience with criminal law and is ready to take on your case.

Criminal Defense Attorney New YorkHere’s what you need to know about New York DWI laws.

  • If you are 21 years or older, you can be charged if your BAC is 0.08 percent or higher.
  • If you are driving a commercial vehicle, you can be charged if your BAC level is 0.04 percent.
  • If you are younger than 12 years old, you can be charged if your BAC level is 0.02 percent.

What the penalties are depend on a few things:

  • Your age
  • What substance you are under the influence of — alcohol, drugs, or a combination of the two.
  • Your driver’s license
  • If you performed or refused to take a chemical test or breathalyzer.

Penalties if You Are Younger Than 21

New York is a Zero Tolerance state. So if you are younger than 21 years old and are pulled over with a blood alcohol content of 0.02 percent or higher, it’s important to get in touch with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.

  • A first offense penalty could include a drivers license suspension for up to six months, a $125 fine. In addition, you could be required to participate in the New York Drinking Driver Program (DDP), and you could have an ignition interlock device installed.
  • A second offense could result in the loss of your driver’s license for one year, in addition to the fine, participation in DDP, and the installation of an ignition interlock device.

Penalties if You Are Older Than 21

There are still significant consequences if you are pulled over with a BAC of 0.04 percent or higher. Contact a criminal defense attorney for your best chance of getting a lesser sentence, or possibly even having the case dismissed.

  • A first offense can result in a driver’s license suspension for 90 days, a $300-$500 fine, a minimum $250 annual assessment fine, up to 15 days in jail, and possible participation in DDP.
  • A second offense in a five-year timespan could result in a loss of driver’s license for six months, a $500-$750 fine, up to 30 days in jail, and enrollment in DDP.

The loss or suspension of a driver’s license has a significant impact on your day-to-day life. If you are pulled over for a DWI, contact a criminal defense attorney right away. The law office of Lisa Pelosi will fight for your case.

Learn more about our DWI lawyers and call our offices today for a free consultation.