Could I potentially face jail time for a first-offense DUI in New York?

The state of New York enforces harsh penalties for those convicted of driving while under the influence (DUI). In New York, law enforcement agents have the authority to pull a motorist over if they have reasonable grounds for suspecting the motorist is operating the vehicle while impaired by illegal substances such as alcohol or drugs. Typically, law enforcement officers will request that the motorist take a chemical test to determine their blood alcohol concentration (BAC). In New York, a motorist is considered drunk driving if they operate a vehicle with a BAC of 0.08% or greater. In the unfortunate event that you or someone you love has been charged with a first-offense DUI, contact a trusted Rockland County DUI Attorney who can help defend your interests in court. In addition, please continue reading to learn about the potential penalties for a first-offense DUI in New York.

What are the potential penalties for a first-offense DUI in New York?

Operating a vehicle while intoxicated is a serious criminal offense that carries harsh penalties. Alcohol severely hinders a motorist’s critical capabilities that are needed to operate a vehicle safely. If a motorist does not abide by the rules of the road they will have to face serious repercussions for their reckless driving behavior. In New York, a first-offense DUI is a major violation, however, it is not considered a misdemeanor or a felony offense. Nevertheless, the consequences are still severe. DUI penalties vary depending on the motorist’s BAC level and whether they’ve had any previous DUI convictions. The potential penalties for a first-offense DUI may include the following:

  • An array of fees and surcharges
  • Fines up to $1,000
  • License revocation for at least 6 months
  • Enrollment in the New York Driving Driver Program (an alcohol education program)
  • Jail time up to 1 year

Those convicted of a first-offense DUI will have to face significant penalties that can negatively affect their lives for years to come. Additionally, if this is a motorist’s second or third conviction, or their BAC is extremely high, the more severe their penalties will be. Nevertheless, motorists can face jail time for a first-offense DUI.

What if I am under the age of 21?

New York follows a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to underage drinking and driving. In the U.S. the legal drinking age to buy, possess, and consume alcohol is 21. The zero-tolerance policy stipulates that a motorist under the age of 21 that operates a vehicle with a BAC of 0.02% is considered driving while under the influence. Motorists under the age of 21 will face serious consequences for their negligent actions. If an underage motorist has a BAC between 0.05% and 0.08% they could face up to 15 days in jail. As mentioned above, the higher the BAC, the more serious the penalties.

Ultimately, in New York, motorists can face jail time for a first-offense DUI conviction. If you have been charged with a first-offense DUI, it is imperative to get in touch with one of our determined and adept attorneys. Our firm is committed to helping our clients achieve a favorable conclusion.