Once you have one DWI conviction the concept of a lookback” period enters your life. A lookback period is the time the state considers when deciding to count a previous DWI conviction. If it does count, your second New York DWI could be a felony.
New York’s lookback period for DWI is 10 years, so any convictions within a decade are added up to help determine your consequences. With a felony DWI, you’ll have thousands of dollars in fines, at least 10 days in jail (or up to seven years) and 60 days of community service. You will lose your license for a year and you will have an ignition interlock requirement once you are able to drive again. Since New York considers your second DWI conviction a Class E felony, not a misdemeanor like in most other states, you are not only a risk to others on the road when you drink and drive, but there are also the personal, lifelong consequences from a felony conviction you should always keep in mind.
New York may have some of the toughest DWI laws in the country. The state is consistently setting an example for the rest of the U.S. to follow, including an ongoing debate over “Jocelyn’s Law” and how to further criminalize fatalities resulting from a DWI. Whether your biggest fear is a felony charge or a fatal DWI, you’re already headed down a responsible road by planning to never drive drunk again. You get to save lives and save yourself from the mess of a felony DWI, leaving finding a sober ride home the biggest worry you have to face.