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What license restrictions might I face for multiple DWIs?

New Yorkers who are dealing with multiple offenses of driving while intoxicated will be confronted with harsher penalties than those who are charged with fewer offenses. In New York State, there are rules that mandate the license suspension and license revocation for those who reach a certain number of DWI convictions. Because losing one's driving privileges can be such a difficult situation to deal with, it is important to understand the various penalties, their nuance and how to formulate ways to combat the charges and avoid these penalties.

Key factors to understand are the rules for reapplying for a driver's license and how the convictions affect that. The person must remember that a "serious driving offense" means a fatal accident, a conviction of a crime that is driving related, a conviction of two or more violations with five or more points placed on the license or 20 or more total points.

If the person has three or four convictions of alcohol or drug-related driving offenses in a 25-year timeframe, has not had a serious driving violation and had a revocation that did not stem from a conviction for alcohol or drugged driving violations, there will be a denial for two years of driving privileges after the initial period of revocation. Then the person will be deemed a problem driver meaning there are restrictions as to when he or she can drive.

With three or four convictions or incidents of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol within 25 years and a serious driving offense, the driver will be denied a driver's license unless there were extenuating or compelling circumstances in the case. With five or more convictions, the license will be permanently denied with the same possibility of leniency due to extenuating or compelling circumstances. If there are two or more convictions or incidents within 25 years, the person must serve the entire time he or she is sanctioned even if there is a completion of an Impaired Driver Program.

Drivers who are dealing with the possibility of a driver's license revocation must understand how the state assesses penalties for multiple offenders and gauges the case based on its circumstances. Losing one's right to drive can be a major hardship and it is critical to do whatever is possible to avoid that fate. Having legal assistance from a lawyer experienced in helping clients with defending DWI charges is a vital first step to dealing with any case.

Source: dmv.ny.gov, "Penalties for multiple offenders," accessed on April 9, 2018

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