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New York Senate Approves Changes to DWI Conditional License Rules

The New York State Senate recently passed a bill that could make it more difficult for people arrested for DWI to secure a conditional driver's license.

Traditionally, during the first 30 days after a New York driver is arrested for DWI, the driver's license is suspended. After that period, the driver can ask the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to grant a conditional license.

New York Conditional Driver's License

A conditional license allows driving only under specific circumstances. These include commuting to work and school; driving as part of a job; and driving to doctors' appointments, child care facilities, probation departments, the DMV and DWI programs. Drivers can also drive three hours per week to take care of personal business and errands.

Additionally, the 30-day driver's license suspension can be avoided altogether for drivers who successfully petition a judge. If the judge approves, the driver can travel to school, work and the doctor's office.

While a conditional driver's license is necessary for many people to continue the daily business of their lives after a DWI arrest, it may not come as easily as it has in the past. Some see the current DMV process as putting up few hurdles for those who need to drive. The process that the New York State Senate approved, however, would make it more complex to secure the conditional license.

Potential Changes to New York DWI Law

The bill, introduced by New York State Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick), requires the DMV to gain the approval of a judge before granting a conditional license to a driver arrested for DWI. The judge would be the same judge who is handling the driver's DWI case.

With additional roadblocks to getting a conditional license, New York drivers who have been arrested for DWI will certainly want to seek the assistance of an experienced attorney.

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