Before you decide to drive under the influence in New York, you should know the real cost of your decision. Not only will you have to pay up in dollars, but you'll also pay with time, a hit to your license, and possibly injury or death.

The penalties of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol are pretty harsh in New York, according to the Department of Motor Vehicles. There are several types of violations when it comes to driving while intoxicated,

Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)
.08 Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) or higher or other evidence of intoxication. For drivers of commercial motor vehicles: .04 BAC or other evidence of intoxication.


Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated (Aggravated DWI)
.18 BAC or higher


Driving While Ability Impaired by Alcohol (DWAI/Alcohol)
More than .05 BAC but less than .07 BAC, or other evidence of impairment.


Driving While Ability Impaired by a Single Drug other than Alcohol (DWAI/Drug)


Driving While Ability Impaired by a Combined Influence of Drugs or Alcohol (DWAI/Combination)


Chemical Test Refusal
A driver who refuses to take a chemical test (normally a test of breath, blood or urine).


Zero Tolerance Law
A driver who is less than 21 years of age and who drives with a .02 BAC to .07 BAC violates the Zero Tolerance Law.

Driving under the influence could cost you up to $10,000 in fines, not to mention lawyer fees. You could also spend up to 7 years in prison (excluding any vehicular manslaughter charges).

According to Attorney Steven Bilkis, when it comes to vehicular manslaughter while under the influence,

The New York criminal code defines three different types of criminal offenses related to killing someone as a result of driving while intoxicated: vehicular manslaughter in the second degree, vehicular manslaughter in the first degree and aggravated vehicular homicide.

Depending on the degree of vehicular manslaughter you are charged with, you could spend up to 15 years in prison and have your license suspended and revoked. Keep in mind, there are also other penalties and fees they can throw at you.

Long story short, it's not worth it to drive while impaired. At best, you'll have to pay up and may lose your right to drive. At worst, you could kill or injure someone and go to prison. With plenty of access to ride-sharing and cabs, there is no reason to drive impaired.

Reality Check: Here Are All The Penalties For DWI In New York State

Gallery Credit: Yasmin Young

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