Help When You Need It Most

New Laws Impacting New York DWI Cases

by Seth Azria on 1/05/2016

Increased Pressure for Increased DWI Penalties

There is an immense amount of pressure being exerted on the New York State legislature from outside groups such as MADD and other advocacy groups to put laws in place that will presumably deter people from drinking and driving. For example, back in 2013 the New York State Senate passed legislation requiring mandatory jail sentences for repeat DWI offenders. However, we are finding that the passage of such legislation does not seem to be impacting the number of drivers convicted of DWI. Unfortunately, most people who are repeat DWI offenders have an abusive relationship with alcohol—i.e., they are alcoholics.

2013 DWI Legislation Increases Penalties for DWI Convictions 

In the past, even if you had multiple DWI convictions you might not receive a substantive punishment. However, in the wake of the legislation that passed in 2013, anyone convicted of two DWIs in the past ten years will be charged with a Class E felony; they face up to four years in jail with a mandatory minimum sentence of thirty days, and a fine of between $1,000 and $5,000. Drivers who have three or more DWI convictions in the last ten years are also charged with a Class E felony; they face a potential jail term of seven years with a mandatory minimum ninety-day jail sentence, and a fine of between $2,000 and $10,000. Finally, if someone has been convicted of two aggravated DWI crimes—i.e., perhaps one case where the driver had a BAC of .18 or higher and another where they had a child in the car—that scenario does not raise the level of the offense; it is still a Class E felony, but the minimum jail sentence is 180 days. Essentially, the legislature recognized that many of the things it was doing was not helping to reduce the number of DWI cases; and therefore, it has imposed a mandatory jail sentence for people who are particularly abusive of their driving privileges and/or repeat DWI offenders.

Article adapted from partner David C. Bruffett's chapter in "Inside the Minds: Strategies for Defending DWI Cases in New York, 2015 ed. published by Aspatore Books, A Thomson Reuters business. 




(315) 364-1155

Free Consultations

Call or Text Now

Speeding Ticket?

Hire your traffic lawyer online. Start Now


Email Us Now for Help

Client Reviews

What A Find!

I received a four point ticket and googled attorney's to choose who could handle my case, being that I was not local to the county in which I received the Summons. I found Seth Azria's Law firm and read the testimonials. I liked what I read and reached out to him. After retaining his services, I found the testimonials to be spot on. My ticket was reduced to a non point, non moving violation. Later on my son received the same type ticket with the same outcome. Very pleased with the services that he provided.

John posted to Avvo
Drivers License Revocation

Recently I lost my drivers license due to receiving multiple tickets in a six month period. Along with that I had a misdemeanor and some other points on my license record. I had received a notice from dmv and was going to have to be without my drivers license for 2 years. I got in contact with Seth Azria at the Azria Law Office to see if there was anything at all I could do about my predicament. Seth Azria worked on my case and within a short amount of time I got a notice in the mail from dmv saying that the revocation order for my license has been rescinded. I would highly recommend the Azria law firm to anyone who is in need of legal assistance. Very easy to work with as well.

Nathan posted to Avvo
Google+ Review

Azria & Bruffet were superb in handling a speeding ticket for me. They were specific and prompt on the information they needed and were able to reduce the charge against me with no headache from my side. If you are worried about any larger traffic violation that may cost a lot or suspend your license they are certainly the firm to go with as they take care of everything.