According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drunk driving is responsible for the deaths of close to 10,000 people each year. As a result, law enforcement officials in New York and all across the country are doing everything they can to penalize drivers for driving under the influence. Drivers convicted of a DUI or DWI can face substantial fines, jail time, mandatory alcohol assessments, automatic license suspensions and mandatory installation of ignition interlock devices in their vehicles. A convicted driver’s penalties will vary based on the number of convictions the driver has had, the driver’s blood alcohol content at the time of the accident and whether anyone was injured or killed.
WalletHub recently conducted a study to find out which states have the strictest DUI penalties. The study named South Dakota as the most lenient state and Arizona as the harshest state when it comes to DUI penalties. New York ranked 29th, placing it close to the middle of the list.
Generally, the average fine for a DUI is $352 for first time offenders and increases to an average of $762 with the second offense. Just fewer than 60 percent of states, including New York, automatically suspend the drunk driver’s license for up to 90 days. In New York, the automatic suspension will last for 30 days. Under New York law, drivers must undergo mandatory alcohol assessments after a conviction and ignition interlock devices are required for drivers with a blood alcohol content of .08 after the first conviction for a period of six months. If you get a second DUI conviction, it will be an automatic felony in New York and result in a minimum of five days in prison.
In addition to the legal penalties, many states keep your DWIs on your driving record for a number of years after the offense. This can have a significant impact on your penalties for future DWI convictions. In New York, a past DUI can factor into penalties for 10 years after it occurred.
Source: WalletHub, “Strictest And Most Lenient States On DUI,” Alina Comoreanu, Aug. 10, 2017