Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI) - VTL §1192.1

A person is guilty of DWAI if he/she operates a motor vehicle while his/her ability to do so is impaired to any extent by the consumption of alcohol.

First Offense

If convicted of DWAI as a first offense, you are guilty of a traffic infraction, not a crime.  You face the following potential consequences:

  1. Fine of between $300 and $500;
  2. Up to 15 days in jail;
  3. Suspension of license for 90 days;
  4. A driver responsibility assessment of $250 a year for 3 years (DMV charge);
  5. A surcharge of $255 (court fee);
  6. A requirement to attend a Victim Impact Panel.

*You may be eligible for a conditional license depending upon the circumstances of your particular case.

Second Offense

If convicted of a DWAI after having been convicted of either: DWAI, DWI, ADWI, DWAI Drugs or DWAI Combined Influence within the previous 5 years, you are guilty of a traffic infraction, not a crime.  You face the following potential consequences:

  1. Fine of between $500 and $750;
  2. Up to 30 days in jail;
  3. Revocation of license for at least 6 months
  4. DMV requirement of evidence of alcohol rehabilitation before relicensing
  5. Discretionary revocation of your registration for at least 6 months;
  6. A driver responsibility assessment of $250 a year for 3 years (DMV charge)
  7. A surcharge of $255 (court fee);
  8. A requirement to attend a Victim Impact Panel.

Third and Subsequent Offenses

If charged with DWAI after having been convicted of 2 or more violations of DWAI, DWI, ADWI, DWI Drugs or DWAI Combined Influence within the previous 10 years, you may be charged with a misdemeanor DWAI, in which case you face the following potential consequences*:

  1. Fine of between $750 and $1500;
  2. Up to 180 days in jail;
  3. Probation period of 3 years;
  4. Revocation of license for at least 18 months;
  5. DMV requirement of evidence of alcohol rehabilitation before relicensing;
  6. Discretionary revocation of your registration for at least 6 months;
  7. A surcharge of $395 (court fee);
  8. A driver responsibility assessment of $250 a year for 3 years (DMV charge);
  9. A requirement to attend a Victim Impact Panel.

*Depending upon the circumstances of your particular case a prosecutor may elect not to elevate your DWAI charge to a misdemeanor but charge it only as an infraction, however, you will still have your license revoked for at least 18 months because once you have 3 or more VTL §1192 convictions within the last 10 years the DMV automatically imposes a 6 month license revocation per offense.