BAC READING OF .08%
At an arraignment on a Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) charge the Court
is required to suspend your New York State driver’s license or privilege
to drive in New York State if a Blood Alcohol Contant (BAC) reading is
at or above the legal limit of .08%.
There are certain findings a Court must make before they suspend you license
pending prosecution but that will be addressed in another blog post. However
in sum, if the Court finds the paperwork sufficient that your BAC was
.08% or greater they will suspend.
NEW YORK PROMPT SUSPENSION LAW
The New York Prompt Suspension law is the law which suspends your license
at arraignment. Many times an accused will appear at arraignment without
an attorney and be told to surrender their license due to this law. Almost
everyone hands over their license without a full understanding of what
just happened and at that moment realize they need an attorney.
Under the Prompt Suspension Law you will not be able to drive for at least
30 days. In most cases the accused relys on their driver’s license
and the consequences of not having a license to drive are devastating.
The Court has recognized the impact of not having a driver’s license
for at least 30 days and has allowed the Courts to grant a “Hardship
Privilege” to allow the accused to drive under certain curcimstances
until the DWI paperwork is processed by DMV and the accused can apply
for a Conditional License. Usually this takes 30 days.
THE HARDSHIP PRIVILEGE
VTL 1193(2)(e)(7) governs the Hardship Privilege. If the Court finds that
the prompt suspension of the accused driver’s license will result
in a “extreme hardship” the court must issue such suspension
but may grant a Hardship Privilege to allow the accused to drive under
certain circumstances. The accused driver’s license is still suspended
but a document is issued to the accused from the Court at arraignment
allowing the accused to drive for a limited purpose.
What is an Extreme Hardship?
An Extreme Hardship is an inability to find alternative means of travel
to or from the licensee’s employment, school or medical treatment.
In order for the accused to prove this Extreme Hardship they are entitled
to a hearing within 3 days of the arraignment. This fact is rarely told
to an accused without an attorney and is a vital right to protect ones
The accused must present proof at the Hardship Hearing that there is no
alternative means of travel such as family, friends, co-workers, taxis,
buses or trains. The accused must also have some evidence to corroborate
that without a license it will be an Extreme Hardship in that they may
lose their job, fail school or miss medical appointments. A witness to
corroborate these facts is usually necessaryat the hearing. The District
Attorney will have an opportunity to be heard on this issue and cross
examine any witnesses including the accused.
THE PURPOSE OF A HARDSHIP LICENSE
The Hardship License is for a limited purpose. The license will not allow
an accused to drive as part of their employment (taxi driver, traveling
salesman) or travel at inconsistent hours. Also, a Hardship License can
not be used to operate a commercial vehicle.
It is always a good idea to contact a DWI lawyer immediately after the
arrest. In some cases I have had my clients call me at the police station. At
Riebling, Proto & Sachs, LLP our DWI lawyers are always available to answer your questions and prepare
you for every court appearance. We offer a Free Consultation and can appear
in Court on a moments notice.
DWI defense is to be prepared at every stage of the process. Our attorneys
protect your rights in every type of DWI case and will be happy to meet
with you. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact us.