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Sentence Enhancements for DUI (DWI) in New York

The state of New York has several sentence enhancements for DUI’s: when a child is in the vehicle under the age15 and 16; when the perpetrator is under 21; DUI resulting in injurious car crash to others; and chemical test refusal. If you are arrested for driving while intoxicated, driving while ability impaired by drugs or driving while ability Impaired by alcohol and drugs, and you have a minor age fifteen years old or younger in your vehicle, you will face an enhanced charge of Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated with a Child.

Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated with a Child is a class E felony. It carries the same license penalties as the misdemeanor charge of Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated per se, but, because it is a felony, has the potential for larger fines and longer periods of incarceration. Drivers arrested for aggravated DWI with a child also will be reported to the Department of Social Services.

This is further buttressed by Leandra’s Law, which sets some of the toughest DWI provisions in the country. Under Leandra’s Law, first-time offenders driving while intoxicated or impaired by drugs with a child less than 16 years old in the vehicle may be charged with a class E felony, punishable by up to four years in State prison. Courts must order all drivers convicted of driving while intoxicated or aggravated driving while intoxicated to install and maintain an ignition interlock on any vehicle owned and operated by such driver for at least six months. Drivers who drive while intoxicated or impaired by drugs and cause the death of a child less than 16 years of age in the vehicle may be charged with a Class B felony, punishable by up to 25 years in State prison. Drivers who drive while intoxicated or impaired by drugs and cause serious physical injury to a child less than 16 years of age in the vehicle may be charged with the Class C felony, punishable by up to 15 years in State prison.

The legal purchase and possession age for alcoholic beverages in New York State is 21. Under the state’s “zero tolerance” law, it is a violation for a person under age 21 to drive with any measurable BAC (.02 to .07). After a finding of violation is determined at a DMV hearing, the driver’s license will be suspended for six months. The driver will then have to pay a $100 suspension termination fee and a $125 civil penalty to be re-licensed. For a second Zero Tolerance violation, the driver’s license will be revoked for at least one year or until the driver reaches age 21, whichever is longer. If you are convicted of two DWI and/or DWAI-drug violations, both resulting in physical injury traffic crashes, your license will be revoked permanently.

If you refuse to take the test after being arrested, your license will be suspended when you are arraigned in court on the alcohol or other drug-related charge. Also, the fact that you refused a chemical test may be introduced in court when you are tried on the alcohol or drug-related charge. If a DMV hearing later confirms you did refuse the test, your license will be revoked even if you are found not guilty of the alcohol or other drug-related violation.

Enhanced penalty blood-alcohol concentration in New York

If your BAC was .18% or higher, you will face a charge called aggravated driving while intoxicated, which, like Driving While Intoxicated, is an unclassified misdemeanor. This charge does, however, carry stiffer fines and harsher sanctions to your driver license.

Under the offense of aggravated driving while intoxicated per se, no person can operate a motor vehicle while such person has 0.18 of 1% or more by weight of alcohol in such person’s blood as shown by chemical analysis of such person’s blood, breath, urine, or saliva. The results of a defendant’s blood-alcohol concentration test are admissible in a trial for aggravated driving while intoxicated even though the test is administered more than two hours after arrest, if the defendant voluntarily submits to the test and the test is then properly administered


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