George F. Hildebrandt
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Will the DMV add points to your record for a DWI conviction?

Perhaps you are a student at Syracuse University. You were driving home after a party, went through a stop sign and a law enforcement officer pulled you over on suspicion of driving while intoxicated.

What happens now in terms of penalties? Will the DMV add points to your record? The outcome of the traffic stop depends on a number of factors.

Your level of impairment

Alcohol affects everyone differently. Your level of impairment will depend on the amount of alcohol you consumed, the length of time it took for you to drink the alcohol and the amount of food you ate. The effect on your system will also depend on your weight and gender.

The penalties you face

In New York, as in every other state, a blood alcohol content level of 0.08 percent is the intoxication threshold for driving a motor vehicle. If the charge of driving while intoxicated is your first offense, you will pay a fine of between $500 and $1,000, and the state will temporarily revoke your driver’s license.

The point system

New York bases its point system on moving violations. The DMV will not add points to your record because of the DWI charge, but you can expect the addition of three points for ignoring that stop sign. You could get another three to five points for speeding, five for failing to stop for a school bus or another four if you were tailgating. There are many kinds of moving violations for which you can receive points. If you collect 11 within a period of 18 months, you can expect the DMV to suspend your license.

Options for mitigating the legal problems

Your first DWI conviction is a misdemeanor. Even so, it is a crime and can adversely affect your future. The DWI will appear on your record, along with those three points for running the stop sign. However, depending on the circumstances of your arrest, the charges against you might be reduced or even dismissed. Given the possibilities, you will want to explore your legal options as soon as possible.

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