Getting caught driving while intoxicated in New York may carry some strict legal repercussions. The way law enforcement goes about clearing the streets of impaired drivers may account for the low DWI crash statistics for the state.
Facing a DWI is not a pleasant prospect but getting in a crash is even less so. As one of the most populated states in the country, how does New York rank so low in DWI crashes? Find out some of the laws that may dissuade drivers from making the choice to get behind the wheel after a drink or two.
Classifying impaired offenses
Under New York laws, there are varying degrees of impairment the courts use to determine the seriousness of the offense. Measuring the blood alcohol content determines the concentration of alcohol in a driver’s system. A BAC measured at .08 or higher indicates intoxication under the law. A BAC measured between .05 and .07 shows some impairment level, and the driver may face charges for a DWAI — also known as driving while ability impaired. New York also has a zero tolerance law for those under 21 caught driving with a BAC of .02 or higher.
Losing the privilege to drive
New York laws do not leave much wiggle room when it comes to license suspension or revocation after a DWI. A first-time DWAI results in a mandatory three-month license suspension. For a DWI, that minimum is six months revocation. After that, the loss of a license becomes longer. After a second or third offense, the driver may lose the privilege to get a license in New York permanently.
Drivers convicted with DWI face high fines and possible jail time along with a license loss. These punishments and the zero tolerance law may contribute to New York State’s lower DWI numbers.