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Multiple DWI Convictions and Permanent License Revocation

Most people are aware that resolving a DWI charge is an expensive proposition. Among the expenses, one should expect are possible vehicle impound fees, attorney’s fees, alcohol evaluation and treatment costs, fines and surcharges ordered by the court, DMV drive assessment fees, and possible insurance premium increases. It is common for first time DWI costs to climb into thousands of dollars. These expenses only go up for someone who faces a second or third DWI in their lifetime. But beyond the financial burdens of multiple DWI convictions, a subsequent alcohol-related driving conviction also jeopardizes that person’s ability to legally drive a vehicle in New York for extended periods of time and may result in the loss of those privileges permanently.

In September 2012 new DMV regulations were enacted which impose harsh, inflexible revocations on drivers who are convicted of multiple alcohol or drugged-driving offenses. These regulations are also retroactive in the sense that DWI convictions from as far back as 25 years or longer are used against the driver to impose these new revocations. A full listing of these penalties for drivers convicted of multiple alcohol or drugged-driving offenses can be located on the New York State DMV website. A summary of these regulations is as follows:

So what does all this mean? In the most basic terms, if you are convicted of five or more alcohol or drugged-driving offenses (including DWAI, DWI, OR DWAI-Drugs) over the course of your entire lifetime, you will lose your New York State driving privileges permanently. If you are convicted of three or four alcohol or drugged-driving offenses (including DWAI, DWI, OR DWAI-Drugs) within 25 years (starting backwards from the date of your most recent conviction), you cannot drive for at least five years. If you are convicted of two alcohol or drugged-driving offenses (including DWAI, DWI, or DWAI-Drugs), you cannot drive until your full suspension or revocation period has run (typically six months or longer).

If you have been charged with a DWI, it is important that your attorney be familiar with these regulations and knows what the consequences of any plea bargain will be on your ability to drive. Many times, the best way to avoid losing your driving privileges permanently is a smart and knowledgeable defense for your charges. The lawyers at Green & Brenneck know these regulations well and know how to protect your ability to drive to the greatest extent possible under the law. If you or someone you know is facing DWI charges, please contact us for a free consultation. We will review your case and advise you on the best ways to proceed.

*A “Serious Driving Offense” or “SDO” is defined as: (i) a fatal accident; (ii) a driving-related Penal Law conviction; (iii) a conviction of two or more high-point (five or more points) driving violation; or (iv) 20 or more points from any violations. Source: NYS DMV.