Alcohol Legal Numbers
United States Legal Age for Alcohol Consumption and Purchasing: 21
Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) Information
What is DWI?
Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) is a crime. In NYS, the penalties include the loss of driving privileges, fines, and a possible jail term.
Your judgment, coordination and ability to drive a vehicle change when you consume any amount of alcohol. The level of impairment depends on five conditions:
There is no quick method to become sober. The best method is to wait until your body absorbs the alcohol. The average rate that your body processes alcohol is approximately one drink per hour.
BAC = blood alcohol concentration
DWI: Driving While Intoxicated; .08 BAC or higher or other evidence of intoxication.
Aggravated DWI: Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated: .18 BAC or higher.
DWAI/Alcohol: Driving While Ability Impaired (by alcohol); .05 BAC to .07 BAC, or other evidence of impairment.
DWAI/Drug: Driving While Ability Impaired by a single Drug other than alcohol.
DWAI/Combination: Driving While Ability Impaired by a the Combined Influence or Drugs or Alcohol.
Chemical Test Refusal: A driver who refuses to take a chemical test (normally a test of breath, blood or urine) can receive a driver license revocation of at least one yare and must pay a $500 civil penalty ($550 for a driver of commercial vehicles) to apply for a new driver license. A driver who refuses a chemical test during the five years after a DWI-related charge will have their driver license revoked for at least 18 months and must pay a $750 civil penalty to apply for a new driver license.
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.
This information courtesy of the NYS Department of Motor Vehicles.