Approximately three years ago, the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) adopted new relicensure rules for drivers with repeat alcohol and or drug related driving incidents. In a nutshell, the new rules mandate that a New York State driver is not permitted to apply for relicensure of his or her driver’s license for five years, if that driver has any combination of three alcohol or drug related driving convictions and or Serious Driving Offence in the last twenty-five years.
Serious Driving Offence
The DMV defines a “Serious Driving Offense” as a fatal accident, a driving-related penal law conviction, conviction of two or more violations for which five or more points are assessed, or 20 or more points from any violations.
Therefore, Serious Offenses can include two convictions for traffic ticket moving violations of five (5) points or more. Such as: a speeding ticket conviction for 21 mph or more over the limit; tickets for reckless driving, failure to stop for a school bus and using a cell phone are, under the DMV rules, deemed serious incidents.
Mandatory Suspensions and the Three Strike Rule
All New York State DWI, DWAI, & DWAI-Drug, convictions mandate a suspension period of various lengths for the defendant. The three strikes rule kicks in when the defendant applies for their relicensure after the suspension period. That is, if the defendant is convicted for any combination of the above referenced offenses, (DWI, DWAI, DWAI-Drug, a Refusal to Submit to BAC Testing, Serious Driving Offense) three times in twenty five years, then the three strike rule will bar that defendant from obtaining their driving privileges for an additional five years and in some cases where the convictions stem from DWAI – Drugs the suspension period will be seven years.
Even after completing the five year waiting period, the DMV Commissioner will only grant the Defendant their driving privileges back under the restriction that the Defendant has an ignition interlock device installed for a period of another five years on every motor vehicle they own or operate. (for DWI & DWAI offenders). Any subsequent drug/alcohol or serious incident will result in a lifetime ban.
A Lifetime ban on Relicensure
If a Defendant has five or more alcohol/drug convictions such as New York State DWI, DWAI or DWAI or an out of state DUI and/or serious traffic infraction incidents during their LIFETIME, the DMV deems that Defendant a Dangers Repeat Offender and permanently denies then a driver’s license.
A Defendant found guilty of a high-point moving violation who also has three or four prior alcohol/drug convictions and a previous high-point violation conviction within 25 years will also be deemed a Dangerous Repeat Offender and permanently lose their license.
If you are arrested for a New York State DWI you face the possible loss your license, mandatory attendance at a drinking driver program, monetary fines and jail time.
New York State DWI penalties depend on factors like: your age; the substance impairing you (alcohol, drugs, or a combination of both); your driver’s license (regular passenger license vs. a special license like a CDL) and; whether you submitted to a chemical test.
Having an Attorney represent you at the early stages of the legal process will greatly improve your ability to make informed decisions, help you preserve your rights and if possible, obtain conditional driving privileges while the charges are pending. Call my office today to schedule a free confidential consultation.