In New York State a person convicted of any DWI offense found in the Vehicle and Traffic Law (VTL) 1192 faces an automatic suspension of their driver’s license and depending on the seriousness and circumstances of the offense, the suspension will be between ninety (90) and one hundred and eighty (180) days.
Needless to say, living without a driver’s license for up to six months can be difficult if not impossible, depending on the location. New York State provides drivers who are convicted of a DWI offense or who are still adjudicating a DWI offense with the ability to obtain a “Conditional Driver’s License” permitting the defendant to drive with limitations.
However, a Conditional License is not guaranteed in all circumstances. In fact, if a person is convicted of any NYS VTL 1192 offense within five (5) years they are ineligible for a Conditional License.
If a person qualifies for a Conditional License they are allowed to drive under several limitations and the Conditional License cannot be used to replace the suspension of a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) nor to operate a taxicab.
In short, because a Conditional License is not like a regular license it only allows the holder to drive:
To and from work or school;
To and from the Drinking Driver Program;
To and from: probation; the DMV and medical appointments;
To and from a child’s school or day-care and;
The holder is permitted one 3 hour period per week to run errands.
If a person with a Conditional License is found operating a motor vehicle outside any of the permitted uses they will face new criminal charges and the Conditional License will be revoked. A Conditional License will also be revoked if the driver is convicted of any moving violation, including Cell Phone, Seat Belt or Child Safety Seat violations. As well as any conviction for an additional alcohol or drug related crime.
Generally, after a DWI conviction, the Defendant is sentenced to participate in the Drinking Driver Program (DDP). Enrollment in the DDP is administered by the DMV department and if a person qualifies, the DMV issues the Conditional License which is used until the conclusion of the suspension period.
A person convicted for DWAI-drugs is ineligible for a Conditional License but may be eligible for a Restricted Use License. A Restricted Use License may be issued at the discretion of the DMV. It allows a person with a suspended license to drive because their driving privileges are a necessary incident to their employment, business, education or medical treatment.
As always, any person charged with a NYS VTL §1192 offense, should seek competent legal representation to explain their options, protect their rights and provide assistance in acquiring a Conditional License when available.