Driver's License Issues with a DWI
Fighting for Your Privilege to Drive in Westchester County
If you are facing alcohol or drug related violations, it is important to
know that your driver's license may be in jeopardy. Whether you need
your driver's license to drive to and from work, or you are a truck
driver who depends on your commercial driver's license (CDL) for your
contact our office to discuss how we can help.
The Westchester County DWI defense lawyers at Riebling, Proto & Sachs,
LLP are dedicated to aggressively fighting for your rights and striving
to see that you retain your driver's license. With the assistance
of a knowledgeable and skilled lawyer, you will gain a complete understanding
of how a DWI or DWAI charge or conviction will affect your driver's license.
Mandatory Suspensions for DWI and DWAI Convictions
Conviction on a DWI or DWAI charge will result in a mandatory suspension
or revocation of your driving privileges. The length of the suspension
or revocation is determined by whether you are convicted of DWI or DWAI
and can last as much as eighteen months.
- Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) with a .08% BAC as a misdemeanor: 6 month
- Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) with a .08% BAC as a felony: 1 year revocation
- Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) with a .18% BAC or higher: 1 year revocation
- Driving While Ability Impaired by Alcohol (DWAI): 90 day suspension
- Driving While Ability Impaired by a Drug (DWAI-drug): 6 month suspension
- DWI or DWAI-drug committed within ten (10) years of any previous violation:
1 year revocation.
- DWAI committed within five (5) years of any previous alcohol or drug related
violation: 6 month revocation
- Drugs: 6 month suspension
- Driving While Intoxicated with a child in the car less than 16 years of
age (Leandra's Law): 18 month suspension
Driver's License Suspension at the First Court Appearance
If a motorist has a BAC (blood alcohol content) of .08 or higher, or if
the motorist has refused the breathalyzer test, the judge will most likely
suspend your driving privileges which will apply for so long as your case
Is there anything I can do?
Yes. You can request a "hardship hearing". If a person has no
prior alcohol conviction within five years, and did not refuse to take
the breathalyzer, the person is entitled to a hardship hearing at the
first court appearance. The purpose of the hearing is to demonstrate to
the Judge that because they have no other way to get to work, the person
needs their license to go to and from work. If the person is successful,
the Judge will issue a "hardship license." However the license
will only apply to driving to and from work and not for any other purpose.
Whether you win or lose the hardship hearing, after thirty days from the
first court date a request may be made to the New York Department of Motor
Vehicles (DMV) for a conditional driver's license. The conditional
license is more expansive than the hardship license because it allows
a person to drive to and from work and
during work, child care, medical appointments and for a three hours shopping block. The conditional license continues until the case is over.
What if I refused the breathalyzer?
If you refused the breathalyzer test, at your first court appearance the
judge will suspend your driver's license and give you a date and time
to appear at the DMV hearing which takes place at the DMV. In this instance
a person is not eligible for a conditional license.
At the DMV hearing, which is presided over by an Administrative Judge,
the Administrative Judge decides if you did in fact "refuse"
the breath test. The cop who made the arrest testifies and you have the
chance to cross examine him or her. If you win, your driving privileges
will be restored at midnight. If you lose then your driving privileges
will be revoked for one year even if your drunk driving criminal charge
is dismissed by the a judge or jury!
Conditional Driver's License
In some instances, a driver may eligible for a conditional driver's
license if their driver's license has been suspended while their case
is pending or after they plead guilty (or are found guilty after trial).
If a conditional license is granted it will enable a person to:
- drive to and from and during work;
- to and from the Drinking Driving Program ("DDP Program") and
any related alcohol/drug treatment;
- to and from school;
- to and from probation;
- to and from the DMV;
- to and from medical treatment;
- to and from your child's school or day care provider; and
- for one 3-hour time period per week to run errands
- If granted by the DMV, the conditional license will be valid until you
are eligible for the return of your full unrestricted driver's license.
DMV Driver Responsibility Assessments for a DWI or DWAI conviction
If a person is convicted in New York for an alcohol related traffic violation
or crime such as a DWI and DWAI, for each of the three years following
that person's conviction, that person will also have to pay a "Driver
Responsibility Assessment". If the payments are not made the person's
driver's license and privileges will be suspended. It is very important
to note that the assessments also apply to drivers with out of state driver's
licenses and drivers who do not have a driver's license.
If you are convicted of Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated (Agg–DWI),
Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI),
or Driving While Ability Impaired by Drugs (DWAI–Drug), or Driving
While Ability Impaired by alcohol or drug (DWAI–Combination), or
if you are found to have refused to submit to a chemical test, your driver
responsibility assessment will be $250 each year.
If you are required to pay the assessment the NYS DMV will mail a notice
to you with the information that you will need to pay the assessment.
Schedule Your Free Initial Consultation
If you have been charged with DWI/DWAI we are here to protect your rights
and your driver's license.
Contact us online or by telephone at (914) 840-5104 to speak with an experienced Westchester
County DWI lawyer.