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New York Increasing Penalties for Repeat DWI Offenders

New York has long had some of the toughest drunk-driving laws in the country. Each year, the legislature seemingly passes new laws that make penalties even more severe. Many states model their DWI laws on those in place in New York. Prosecutors take these crimes very seriously, and many who are facing charges have no idea what can happen to them if they are convicted.

Recently, the state has made some changes to rules that impact repeat DWI offenders. If an individual is convicted of drunk driving within New York, his or her license will be suspended or revoked for a period of time. With each offense, the length of the suspension or revocation will increase. Motorists may be able to obtain a license that allows them to travel to their place of employment, but there will be restrictions placed upon their ability to drive.

After the period of suspension has ended, motorists must apply to have their license reinstated. This can be a very costly process, and also require individuals to complete classroom training designed for those convicted of a DWI.

If the individual has multiple DWI or other alcohol-related convictions, the process of license reinstatement has become much more difficult, and in some cases, impossible. If a person has five or more alcohol-related offenses over his or her driving history, the state will deny license reinstatement.

Also, if a person has three or more driving while intoxicated convictions, as well as an additional serious driving offense, such as causing an accident while impaired, within the past 25 years, his or her license will not be reinstated.

These new regulations could impact as many as 20,000 individuals who are seeking to have their licenses reinstated after a DWI conviction. These changes took effect immediately in late September, and impact all applicants going forward.

Officials contend that repeat offenders often cause serious traffic accidents, and removing these motorists from the roadways will help protect all drivers. Those critical of the laws say that it can make it difficult for those who lose their license to get the help they need.

If you are facing DWI charges, it is important to take the matter seriously. Each conviction carries significant penalties, and will require major changes to your everyday routine. If you have multiple convictions, this could result in the permanent loss of your driving privileges within New York.

Speak to an experienced DWI attorney to understand the options that will be available in your situation. Each case is different, and it will be important to know what you can do to protect your rights.