As an attorney who publishes a lot of video, articles, etc I get my share of phone calls, texts, and emails. Put yourself out there, and I do, and you get asked questions. Sometimes I have answers, other times I need to find stuff out, and sometimes I'm SOL, I don't know and noone else does either. Frustrating as all that is I believe that people deserve, yes I said it deserve the truth. In the words of a great movie actor, "you can't handle the truth" is often so true because people want lies. They want to be lied to about outcomes, they want to be lied to about the things that hurt, the things that scare and concern them. Either they want to hide their heads in the sand or they look for some slick lawyer to tell them a bunch of BS. It is normal. It is human nature. What it is not is smart. Smart faces the truth head on. Smart deals with reality. Smart doesn't delude or water down "what is." Smart confronts "what is."
"What is" is that people make mistakes. They make mistakes all the time. This is neither good or bad. It is merely a fact of life.
So to the answer to the original question: A NYS DWAI (VTL 1192 (1)) is going to stay ON your record, the record of your NYS arrest, your NYS file, your NYS fingerprints, your NYS mugshots Forever! that's 4ever for those younger than me. It is only a violation but a violation that lingers. Even those most NYS violations get sealed (records destroyed), this one doesn't. It will be there after 30, 40, 50 years of your life.
Guess what, District Attorneys will bring it up, and seek to use if against you in the future if you get another DW (driving while) even if it is it from 30 or 40 years ago. "They" believe you are merely a drunk driver that hasn't been caught in 30 or 40 years. They will seek out jail, probation, and anything else they think you deserve as a "habitual" offender. They do not believe in live and let live, or redemption, or the passage of time, or that you should be given credit for your stable job, four kids, and paying your taxes over those 30 years. You want fair, you better move to another planet.
DWAI is merely a violation (a traffic violation) with no points but some states and Canada will still view it as a crime. States like Florida don't have a DWAI and see our violation/offense in the same light as their DUI.
Canada will not automatically allow you into their country after a NYS DWAI. They don't have one either, an offense like ability impaired.
My final thoughts:
It (a DWAI/DWI) will NOT prevent you from "being or doing" anything of any magnitude, doctor, lawyer, or congressman
Will some people/future employers see it as horrible and bad? yes, but they might also not like something else about you, legally they cannot use any violation or crime against you for employment but your breath, hair, attitude is all open game lol some people/judges even think "pot" is a bad/gateway drug, is it? everyone will have an opinion, don't they always!
Get "educated" both in and out of school about a great many things, life is a school, a DWAI/DWI is a lesson, ask me about the students I represent with MBAs, and Phds that are facing felonies, talk about hurdles, DWAI/DWI is merely a bump
"YOU" will always decide and direct your future not a mistake you had in judgment on one particular moment in time,
DO NOT ever let this or anything else ever stop you from pursuing your dreams
all the best