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DWI in New York

Definition of DWI (Driving While Impaired)

Often there is a confusion when talking about DUI and DWI. Many people aren’t sure precisely what the difference is between the two terms. The difference is subtle, and not all states utilize the same terminology.

Difference between DWI, OUI, DUI, and OWI

The most common crime in America is drunk driving. As are many legal terms, the variety of terms for some form of operating a vehicle while drinking or drugging can be confusing to the non-lawyer.

1. DWI

The acronym with which most New Yorkers are familiar is DWI and can mean either driving while intoxicated or driving while impaired. In New York, a DWI generally means that the driver was charged with drinking (alcohol) while driving.

2. DUI

DUI is typically meant as an abbreviation for driving under the influence. The most common substance is alcohol, however some states also prohibit drugs and vapors.

3. OUI

The most prevalent acronym for drunk driving is OUI, or operating under the influence. The word “operating” is more inclusive than “driving” because it is illegal to operate or be in physical control of a motor vehicle. A person can be passed out in a car with the engine running and still be charged with OUI.


In New York, DWAI – driving while ability impaired – is a lesser offense than DWI or DUI. The lesser offense impacts a person’s drivers permit less than the other two and there are benefit to DWAI as compared to pleading to the more common DUI and/or DWI offense.

DWI Laws in New York State

New York State has some of the severest laws in the country when it comes to DWI. Drink and drive in New York and that last drink you had may be the most expensive one you’ll ever taste.



DWI NY Laws are Getting Stricter Every Year

Bukh Law Firm have a team of experienced attorneys who are familiar with the multitude of state laws. Contact our lawyer as soon as you’ve been charged with a drunk driving offense to make sure you have the best reasonable outcome of your case.

DWI IN NY: Get the Facts

DWI NYDRUNK DRIVING or DWI has become very serious offense in the state of New York. It can put you behind bars even on your first offense—especially when you’re looking at charges of an aggravated DWI in New York. There are some counties which impose a mandatory 30 days in jail for a first time New York DWI. These counties have a proven history of taking a hardline on crime. If you’ve been caught driving under the influence in Nassau county or Queens you will need the the most aggressive New York City DWI attorney that your money can buy. In fact you will need a DWI lawyer who isn’t afraid to take an aggressive stance in your case to protect your best interests.

The laws and statutes of the State of New York are very specific and rigid when it comes to drunk driving. A criminal defense attorney in NY must work twice as hard as they did ten years ago. The penalties for DUIs and DWIs have become progressively more severe over the years, but the enactment in 2009 of “Leandra’s Law” upped the ante on drunk driving charges in NYC.


DWI – First Offense

An individual is guilty of DWAI if they operate a motor vehicle while impaired to any extent from the consumption of alcohol. DWAI is a traffic infraction, like ignoring a stop sign, but it not a crime. DWI however is a crime.

Frequently a person charged with DWI for the first time may receive a plea bargain reducing the charge to DWAI. Even though the prosecution generally makes the offer, it is not a guaranteed option. Many District Attorney’s Officers will not plea bargain a DWI down to a DWAI if the BAC was over .13%, if the individual refused submission to a breath or blood test, if there was an accident involved, if a child was in the vehicle, if the individual was obnoxious or if the individual may have resisted arrest.

The intricacies of drunk driving laws is not a forest a layman wants to get lost in. Bukh Law Firm have a team of experienced attorneys familiar with New York DUI and DWI laws. Contact them as soon as you’ve been charged to make sure you have the best reasonable outcome of your case.


A DWI is a misdemeanor. If found guilty you will have a permanent criminal record. Make sure to talk to your lawyer ASAP, as conviction of DWI as a first offense means the following penalties are among the potential consequences

  1. A fine of not less than $500 or over $1,000, a year in jail, or both
  2. A three-year probation
  3. Driver’s license revoked by at least six months
  4. Potential revocation of your vehicle registration for at least 180 days
  5. An additional fee of $395, $400 if the case is in a Town or Village Court
  6. Required to take a Driver Assessment each year for three years at a cost of $250 a year
  7. Attend a Victim Impact Panel
  8. Install and maintain an interlock device on any vehicle you own or operate for at least six months. The cost of installation and maintenance will fall on you


DWI – Second Offense

Charged with another DWI within 10 years of an earlier conviction and you will be charged with felony. Even if you are permitted to plead to misdemeanor DWI, the consequences are still stiff and include:

  1. A fine at least $500 and no more than $1000, up to one year in jail, or both. A three-year probation.
  2. Driver’s license revocation for at least one year. In accordance with new DMV regulations, you will not be allowed full licensing until the minimum revocation period has expired.
  3. An alcohol evaluation and rehabilitation before it will even speak to you and you will need to pay the costs for both out-of-pocket.
  4. Revocation of your registration for at least one year; at the discretion of the court.
  5. A $395 surcharge which goes to $400 if the case is either in a Town or Village Court.
  6. Driver responsibility assessment of $250 per year for three years.
  7. Required attendance at a Victim Impact Panel and a prerequisite that you install and maintain an ignition interlock device in any motor vehicle you operate during the term of your probation.


If you are sentenced on a misdemeanor DWI after having been sentenced for a same misdemeanor within five years, you also face the following mandatory penalties in addition to those listed earlier.

  1. Five days in jail or one-month days community service
  2. Install an interlock device in every vehicle you operate during the period of revocation and after completion of the revocation for a period to be determined by the court. Take part in an alcohol or substance abuse assessment and cover the costs out-of-pocket.

If the new drunk driving charge is greater than five years from you last conviction, you may be eligible for a conditional license.


Arkady Bukh is a high octane DWI defense attorney who is familiar with the multitude of New York State drunk driving laws.

Contact him at (212) 729-1632 as soon as you’ve been charged with a DWI.


If you are charged with DWI after an earlier offense, or if you have been convicted of Vehicular Assault in the 1st or 2nd degree, or Vehicular Manslaughter twice within the previous ten years, you may be charged with a class D felony and face these consequences (please talk to a licensed lawyer for up-to-date information):

  1. A penalty of not less than $2000 nor more than $10000, up to seven years in prison, or both.
  2. Probation for five years
  3. License revocation for at least 18 months. Additionally DMV will require you provide evidence of successful completion of a rehabilitation program before it will relicense you.
  4. The court may prohibit you from driving in addition to any revocation of your license by DMV.
  5. A surcharge of $520.
  6. A Driver Responsibility Assessment of $250 per year for three years.
  7. Required attendance at a Victim Impact Panel in addition to paying for the installation and maintenance of an interlock device on any vehicle you operate during probation or conditional discharge.


If your previous DWI convictions were within five years, you are also subject to the following mandatory penalties:

  1. 10 days incarceration or 60 days community service
  2. Installation of an ignition interlock device on each vehicle you operate during your license revocation and for any additional period as determined by the court.
  3. Receiving an alcohol and/or drug abuse assessment which may result in an inpatient program as a condition of any sentence.

If this is your condition, you are possibly going to jail for longer than any required minimum the law stipulates. This is why a defense attorney has to come with a plan to avoid the criminal charges.

Recent Changes to New York’s DWI Laws You Should be Aware Of

New York DWI Lawyer
In September, 2012, the New York State DMV issued regulations what increase the penalties for drivers with repeated alcohol and/or drug offenses. It is vital to understand that the DMV rules do not affect revocation periods that are imposed by state statute. These requirements apply to applications for re-licensure and are in addition to any cancellation period the court may require.

These regulations not only apply to people who have had their license revoked for alcohol and/or drug related driving convictions, but also apply to anybody who has been convicted of a high-point violation, defined as being assessed five points or more.


When you are accused of being drunk and behind the wheel, your first call should be to Bukh Law Firm. A team of trained DWI lawyers is standing by to help you get on with your life.


Lifetime Relic Ensure Denied

Drivers who have been defined as “dangerous repeat alcohol or drug offenders” face the possibility of a permanent ban on getting a license to operate a motor vehicle.

  1. Any driver who, has five or more alcohol or drug-related driving convictions in any combination, or
  2. Any driver who, within the 25 years previous to the date of a commission of a high-point driving violation in any combination, has three or four alcohol and/or drug related driving convictions in any combination and has one or more serious driving offense within the previous 25 years.


Five-year waiting period

Additionally, there is a five-year waiting period for any re-licensure application where:

  1. The person has 3 or 4 alcohol and/or drug related driving convictions in any combination during the 25 years before the date of the revocable offense,
  2. The individual does not have any serious driving offenses within the 25 years preceding the crime, and
  3. The person is presently revoked for an alcohol and/or drug related driving conviction or incident.

Once the five-year waiting period expires, the DMV Commissioner may approve the application for re-licensure with an A2 restriction for five more years and entail the installation of an interlock device on any vehicle operated by the individual for an additional five-year period. If that individual, with an A2 restriction, is later revoked for alcohol and/or drug related driving conviction, the person shall be ineligible for a license forever. In other words, a lifetime revocation.


Being charged with DWI in NY will affect the rest of your life. Minimize the impact by making sure that a call to Bukh Law Firm, for a free initial consultation, is your first call. Talk to a lawyer who can truly defend you.

Top Rated Criminal Lawyer

Arkady Bukh has a long track record of representing clients accused of serious federal and state crimes in NYC


New York DWI Lawyer will Fight Your NYC Drunk Driving Case

Should this be a second offense, the case is automatically assigned as a class E felony charge. NY DWI penalties for a second offense are very strict. You are looking at jail time and a felony record. Your second one will land you with a sentence of a year or more of jail time should you not have a strong defense prepared by an expert New York DWI attorney. Many times people will give you advice based off of personal experience. In many cases, people will tell you about their own stories that may have happened years before the changes that were made to the state penal code. Drunk driving laws in NY have gotten increasingly more strict and the punishments more severe. Before you throw yourself head first into a antagonistic courtroom scenario consult a New York DWI lawyer about your case.

As New York DWI attorneys we see average, ordinary people making stupid mistakes every, single day. You may have gone to the bar to blow off steam due to a job layoff or maybe even a fight at home and the next thing you know you’re being followed by a police cruiser, wondering why you didn’t call a cab. You’re not a bad person. You’re just someone who made an error in judgment.

Your chosen New York City DWI attorney will work with the prosecution to reduce or mitigate charges, plea the case, or reduce the penalties on your DWI or DUI offense.

Currently, the criteria for a DWI in New York is:

BAC (blood alcohol content) of .08 or higher for an adult 21 or over
BAC of .02 for under 21, or
BAC of .04 for a commercial vehicle driver

Depending upon your BAC at the time of the arrest, your attitude with the arresting officer, and your driving record (most often) your charge will be a misdemeanor. With a misdemeanor there are still “mandatory” penalties that will incur, however, there is wiggle room as with all things. Your private lawyer from Bukh Law Firm will work with the courts to reduce the penalties and get your life “back to square”.


Aggravated DWI in NY

An aggravated DWI in New York State is triggered when the BAC is over .18%
First Offense is a misdemeanor with, at least, the lowest fine of $1,000 and a maximum fine of $2,500. Up to a twelve months in jail and a minimum of a one-year license revocation are the penalties.

The next offense is a Class E Felony with a fine at least $1,000 and up to $5,000. At least five days in jail or 30 days community service is required and you may spend up to four years in jail. Your license will be revoked for a minimum of 18 months.

The next is a Class D Felony and you will get fined a minimum of $2,000 up to a maximum of $10,000. Ten days in jail or 60 days community service and up to 7 years in prison and your license is voided for a minimum of 18 months.


Bukh Law Firm has represented thousands of individuals before you who chose to drink and drive. As soon as you are charged with DWI in New York, contact Bukh Law Firm to guarantee your case will have the best possible outcome. Get an advice from an attorney before it’s too late!


DWI Classes

Following a DWI conviction, you may be required to attend a state approved DWI school. The programs are geared towards helping participants consider attitudes and behaviors and provide support as they experience life changes. The members are given the opportunity to address any issues they have centering on alcohol and/or drug abuse.

It is required that a person convicted of a DWI be enrolled in a special program no later than three weeks following sentencing. The span of the program varies, depending on the needs of the individual. The program length can be as short as 10 hours for first-time offenders up to 30 months for repeat offenders. The classes typically meet daily, several times a week or once a week contingent on the level of care and treatment indicated by the initial intake and assessment.

DWI schools evaluate the participants’ progress based partly on attendance. Truancy is not permitted and attendance is mandatory. Failure to show for class, on time, repeatedly, may mean termination of your participation in the program and be sent to jail by a judge.

Most programs require some sort of regular chemical test to test for alcohol and/or drugs during participation in the program. Any positive test may be grounds for a person to be removed from the program, opening the probability of going to jail for failure to comply.

At the end, the participant is required to show proof of completion. The treatment provider will also provide the courts and DMV with a completion certificate vouching for successful completion of the program. Failure to complete court mandated DWI classes will probably lead to the judge issuing a bench warrant and you will be sentenced for a probation violation.

Bukh Law Firm have a team of experienced attorneys who are familiar with the multitude of state laws. Contact them as soon as you’ve been charged with a DWI to make sure you have the best reasonable outcome of your case.


Not Guilty!

New York DWI lawyers are not created equal. Our attorneys have a strong track record in handling DUI/DWI and DWAI cases. We have a group of attorneys that have handled cases ranging from actual driving while under the influence to sleeping with a key in the ignition. We’ve handled Aggravated DWI and even vehicular manslaughter cases. We don’t hide away from showing our records. In fact, we’ll walk you through prior cases in your jurisdiction.

We will fight aggressively for a “Not Guilty” verdict with DWI and DUI cases, and have successfully defended hundreds of cases throughout Manhattan. Our “never surrender” policy has produced successful results: not guilty verdicts, reduction of charges, and dismissal.


For the most vigilant NYC criminal lawyers in town, call Law Office of Bukh Law Firm, PLLC @ (800) 601-0207

Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. ATTORNEY ADVERTISEMENT.