While many convictions for driving under the influence in New York are misdemeanors, the state punishes some DUIs on the felony level. These more severe crimes carry jail time, enhanced fines and other legal penalties.
These are the common categories of felony DUI offenses under state law.
Multiple aggravated DUIs
New York charges drivers with aggravated DUI when they have measured blood alcohol content higher than 0.18% at the time of the arrest. A second aggravated DUI conviction within 10 years of the first is a Class E felony and will result in a license suspension of at least 18 months, up to four years in jail and fines from $1,000 to $5,000. A third aggravated DUI in the same 10-year period is a Class D felony and carries 18-month license suspension, up to seven years in jail and fines of up to $5,000.
Vehicular assault and manslaughter
If a driver injures another person while driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, he or she could receive a vehicular assault conviction. This Class E felony carries the same penalties as for a second aggravated DUI offense.
Second-degree vehicular manslaughter occurs when a drunk driver causes an accident that kills someone. This type of vehicular manslaughter is a Class D felony. However, certain circumstances may result in elevated penalties.
First-degree vehicular manslaughter results when the driver
- Already had a suspended license
- Refused breath testing
- Had a measured BAC above 0.18%
- Had a previous vehicular assault or manslaughter conviction
- Had a DUI within the past 10 years
- Caused the death of someone younger than 15
- Caused the death of more than one person
This Class C felony carries up to $5,000 in fines and up to 15 years in prison. Aggravated vehicular manslaughter occurs when a first-degree manslaughter charge also included reckless driving. This Class B felony results in up to $5,000 in fines and up to 25 years in prison for a conviction.