2nd DWI Offense in NY – All You Need To Know (2024)

2nd DWI Offense in NY – All You Need To Know (2024)

On Behalf of vitalianolaw | Jan 01, 2024 |

When you are convicted of a repeat offense for driving while intoxicated (DWI), the penalties you face will likely be much stricter and more severe. Being charged with even a first offense can have a severe impact on your life, and repeat offenses will result in harsher convictions and less lenient judges. If you are arrested for a subsequent DWI or DWAI, you need a dedicated New York DWI attorney to build a defense and try to lower the penalties you face.

Understanding the Different DWI Charges

Different DWI and DWAI charges in New York rely on the age of the driver, the blood alcohol content (BAC) of the driver, and other aggravating factors in the situation.

  • Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI) by alcohol is the charge of driving with a BAC between 0.05% to 0.07%, or 0.02% for those under the age of 21
  • DWAI drugs refer to driving while impaired by any single drug
  • DWAI combination refers to driving while impaired with a combination of drugs or a combination of drugs and alcohol
  • DWI is charged when the driver’s BAC is 0.08% or when the driver demonstrates intoxication
  • An aggravated DWI is charged when the driver’s BAC is 0.18% or higher or when they had a passenger under the age of 15 in the car

DWAI Second Offense

DWAIs are charged differently based on whether you were influenced by alcohol, drugs, or a combination of the two.

An alcohol-only DWAI is charged as a second offense if you have been convicted of another DWAI in the last five years. This results in fines between $500 and $750, up to 30 days in jail, and driver’s license revocation for a minimum of six months.

A drugs-only or combination DWAI is charged as a second offense when you have been convicted a second time in 10 years. Both of these are charged as Class E felonies and result in $1,000 to $5,000 in fines, up to four years in jail, and a license revocation for a minimum of one year.

These charges may also result in other penalties, such as insurance requirements, court fees, and required attendance of a drunk driving victim impact panel.

DWI Second Offense

If you are convicted of a DWI for the second time in 10 years, the resulting penalties increase significantly. It is charged as a Class E felony. This results in several potential penalties, including:

  • A mandatory minimum of five days and up to four years in jail
  • Fines between $1,000 and $5,000
  • Driver’s license revocation for a minimum of one year
  • Potential for 30 days of community service in place of the mandatory minimum sentence
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) for at least six months after license restoration

You may also be required to pay other court fees and fines, pay for SR-22 insurance, serve probation, attend rehabilitation, and attend a victim impact panel.

Zero Tolerance Law Second Offense

If an individual under the age of 21 is convicted of a second DWI, they face license revocation for a year or until they turn 21 and a $100 fee to reinstate their license. Additionally, they face a $125 civil fee penalty, as well as the potential of an IID and mandatory enrollment in the state’s educational program for drunk driving.

Aggravated DWI Second Offense

An aggravated DWI is charged more severely when it is your second offense within 10 years. The penalties for this charge are the same as a second offense DWI, but license revocation is mandatory for a minimum of 18 months.


Q: What Happens When You Get Two DWIs in New York?

A: A second offense of driving while intoxicated (DWI) is taken very seriously, and if it occurs within 10 years of the first DWI, it is charged as a Class E felony. If you are convicted of a second offense of DWI, you may face:

  • A minimum of five days and up to four years in jail, with the potential for 30 days of community service in place of the mandatory minimum five-day sentence
  • Fines between $1,000 and $5,000
  • A revoked driver’s license for a minimum of one year or a minimum of 18 months if the prior offense was an aggravated DWI charge

There are also additional administrative penalties.

Q: What Is the Lookback Period for a DWI in New York?

A: Depending on the number of convictions for a DWI or DWAI that you have, the lookback period could be five years, ten years, or even 25 years. If you are convicted of a second DWI within 10 years, the penalties are increased. A second DWAI in five years will result in increased penalties.

However, if there are multiple violations within 25 years, this will result in more severe penalties for any subsequent charge. Once you are convicted, you have a permanent criminal record, and this is permanent unless you can apply for sealing the record.

Q: Can a DWI Be Reduced in New York?

A: With the help of an aggressive and diligent DWI defense attorney, a DWI could be reduced depending on your circumstances. An attorney can review your unique situation and determine if the charge can be reduced to a DWAI through a plea bargain. In some cases, an attorney can work to have your charges reduced or dismissed by arguing that there is insufficient evidence against you or that your rights were violated when you were pulled over or during the arrest.

Q: Is Jail Time Mandatory for a 2nd DUI in New York?

A: There is a mandatory minimum sentence for a second DWI in New York of 5 days in jail and up to four years in jail. However, this minimum sentence could be waived based on the discretion of the judge and replaced with an alternative sentencing of 30 days of community service.

Unfortunately, judges are more likely to be less lenient with repeat DWI offenses. New York is harsh on DWI penalties, and a judge may take a repeated offense as a sign that the individual has not learned their lesson.

Protect Your Interests and Future

The most effective way to avoid the increased penalties of a repeat DWI or DWAI is to have a diligent and aggressive defense attorney by your side. The Vitaliano Law Firm can review your case and determine how it may be possible to reduce or eliminate the charges you face. Contact our team today.