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Penalties for a Buffalo DWI

Penalties for a Buffalo DWI

If you are a native of Erie or Niagara counties, you know that Buffalo has a reputation for having some of the best bars in the country. In 2013, the City of Buffalo ranked #10 in the nation for having 7.1 bars per 10,000 residents, USA Today reported.

With so many bars gracing the streets of Downtown Buffalo and the suburbs, it is no wonder why driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a common crime. Unfortunately, many Buffalonians fail to realize the full impact of a DWI and how it can affect many aspects of their lives for years to come.

Driving While Intoxicated (First Offense)

New York has various drug and alcohol-related driving offenses, including: Driving While Intoxicated (VTL § 1192(2) and § 1192(3)), Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated (VTL § 1192(2-a)(a)), Driving While Ability Impaired by drugs (VTL § 1192(4)), and Driving While Ability Impaired by the combined influence of drugs or of alcohol and any drug or drugs (VTL § 1192(4-a)).

For the purposes of this post, we are going to focus on a misdemeanor DWI charge, with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of .08 of one percent or higher, but less than .18 of one percent. When a motorist’s BAC is .18 of one percent or higher, that motorist will be charged with “aggravated DWI” (VTL § 1192(2-a)(a)), which carries more severe licensing penalties and higher fines than the typical, first-offense DWI charge under VTL § 1192(2) or (3).

Penalties for a first-offense DWI (VTL § 1192(2) or (3) in New York, include:

  • A jail sentence of up to one year, or
  • A period of probation of up to three years
  • A fine of between $500 and $1,000
  • A mandatory $395 NYS surcharge ($400 if in a Town or Village Court)
  • License revocation for at least 6 months
  • A Driver Responsibility Assessment of $250 per year for three years
  • A requirement that the motorist attend a Victim Impact Panel
  • Ignition Interlock Device requirement
  • Ignition Interlock restriction on defendant’s driver’s license

New York DWI Third Offense

Under New York state law, if you are convicted with a third offense DWI you can face serious consequences. A third offense DWI can be charged as a Class D felony and the possible penalties include imprisonment of up to 7 years and a $10,000 fee.

Are There Other Consequences of a DWI?

Yes, most definitely. There are several other consequences of a DWI that can impact a person’s life in a negative way. A DWI conviction can lead to the following consequences:

  • A DWI can affect child custody battles.
  • A misdemeanor-DWI conviction can affect professional licenses.
  • A DWI will greatly affect motorists with commercial driver’s licenses.
  • A misdemeanor-DWI conviction will remain on your criminal record.
  • A DWI will cause your auto insurance premiums to skyrocket.
  • A DWI can bar you from entering Canada.
  • A felony DWI can trigger deportation proceedings for immigrants.

If you are facing DWI charges in the Greater Buffalo Area, we urge you to contact The Rossi Law Firm immediately. A criminal charge is a very serious matter, and DWI charges require skilled defense attorneys. Contact our firm to schedule a consultation with an experienced Buffalo DWI attorney.