Drinking alcohol before driving is a dangerous risk, unfortunately taken by many people. Alcohol greatly decreases the driver's ability to see clearly, it distorts distances and speed, it slows reflexes and reaction time, and it makes the driver less alert and, in general, of poorer judgement. In order to deal with all the incidents of drunk driving, New York State has established a number of laws and penalties against driving intoxicated.
Your "drunkenness" is determined by the BAC (Blood Alcohol Content). The driver's Bac depends on three things: 1) how much alcohol you drink, 2) how much time passes between drinks and, 3) your weight. It does not depend on what type of alcohol you drink, or how well you handle alcohol.
Your BAC is usually determined by a test known as the breathalyzer. If you refuse to take a breathalyzer test upon arrest, your license will be suspended when you are arraigned in court.
There are two types of violations associated with drunk driving, DWI (driving while intoxicated) and the lesser known DWAI (driving while ability impaired). You are charged with DWAI if your BAC is .05% through .09% and DWI is charged when your BAC is .10% or higher. Most people are arrested for DWI, on average, with a BAC of .20%.
Violation Fine Max. Jail Term Liscense Status
2nd / 10 yrs. @ least $500 4 years Revoked 1 yr.
DWAI $250-$350 15 days Suspended 90 days
2nd / 5 yrs. $350-$500 30 days Revoked 6 mo.
3rd / 10 yrs. $500-$1500 90 days Revoked 6 mo.
Injury: Death = $7000 and 7 years ( if convicted of vehicular manslaughter)
2 DWI w/ injury = permanent revocation