New York State Supreme Court ruled in favor of regulations for stricter license suspensions in cases involving repeat DWI offenders. The Court of Appeals unanimously determined that the suspensions, which can even include lifetime revocations, are grounded in sound public policy.
The regulations, first introduced in 2012, are aimed at strengthening the Department of Motor Vehicles’ (DMV) ability to keep drunk drivers off the road. They include:
- A five-year suspension after three alcohol- or drug-related driving convictions in 25 years
- A permanent revocation after five or more alcohol-related convictions in 25-years
- Elimination of a loophole that allowed some drivers to get suspended licenses back after only seven weeks
The DMV has denied approximately 13,600 license renewal applications since the regulations went into effect, according to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office. Three individuals challenged the laws when they reapplied after the mandatory waiting periods and were denied new licenses. The ruling by Judge Michael Garcia noted that the individuals are not entitled to relicensing after the time period, and that relicensing is under the commissioner’s discretion.
In New York, if you drive with a BAC of 0.08% or higher, you can be charged with drunk driving. A conviction can result in fines of up to $1,000 and up to one year in prison. It can also impact your auto insurance rates or get you dropped by your insurer altogether. Under the new rules, a conviction also makes it more likely that you will lose your license. If you’re caught driving with a suspended license in New York, you could be charged with Aggravated Unlicensed Operation (AUO). This is a criminal misdemeanor that carries a fine of up to $500 and 30 days in jail. Driving drunk on a suspended license is a felony charge and means you could face up to $5,000 in fines and an indefinite prison sentence.
If you or a loved one has been charged with drunk driving, driving without a valid driver’s license, or if your license has been suspended and you would like it reinstated, reach out to an attorney right away for help. Call the Rosenblum Law Firm at 888-203-2619 to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys.