New DWI regulations target repeat New York DWI Offenders
New regulations in New York hope to combat drivers that are repeatedly driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The new laws make it more difficult for repeat DWI offenders to get their licenses back.
Under current law, individuals with numerous alcohol or drug related driving offenses never permanently lose their licenses. The only exception is drivers with two alcohol or drug related convictions coming from two separate crashes involving physical injury.
Accidents and Alcohol
Every year over 300 people are killed and over 6000 are injured because of accidents involving alcohol. Over a quarter of these involve a person who has three or more drunken driving convictions. Crashes involving a driver with three or more alcohol related convictions have also increased in recent years.
Law enforcement efforts last year resulted in almost 45,000 DWI arrests. This is what encouraged the new laws, which are designed to focus on the most dangerous offenders. The laws hope to send a message to repeat DWI offenders that continuing to threaten the safety of others will no longer be tolerated.
The Department of Motor Vehicles now reviews the lifetime records of drivers with revoked licenses seeking reinstatement. Any offender with five or more alcohol or drug related driving convictions will be denied reinstatement. A spokesperson for the DMV says that these offenders are a public threat and should not be allowed driving privileges.
Additionally, individuals with three or more convictions and at least one serious driving offense in the last 35 years will also be denied relicensing by the DMV. Fatal crashes, 20 or more accumulated points over the past 20 years, and two or more convictions worth five points or higher are considered serious driving offenses.
Those with three or more convictions but no serious driving offense will be denied license reinstatement for five years after the statutory revocation period. The license is reinstated when the time limit is up, but with restrictions. Ignition interlocks are also required for five years.
Certain options are also no longer available to those with DWI convictions. A seven week educational program that allowed license reinstatement to participants whose licenses were revoked for six months to a year is no longer available.
License Revocation and Legal Advocacy
It is estimated that around 20,000 drivers will have permanently revoked licenses this year because of the new laws. Some feel new laws are also needed to address drivers with repeat traffic convictions that are not necessarily drug or alcohol related.
An individual with multiple DWI convictions can benefit from an experienced traffic violation attorney. The attorney can provide knowledge and guidance as well as assist with reinstatement of driving privileges.