Okay, you've been convicted of an alcohol related motor vehicle violation. What happens next?
Your License: Your New York license, or if you're an out-of-state motorist your privilege to drive in New York State, will be suspended or revoked for anywhere from ninety days to one year, depending on the actual charge.
Fine: You will be expected to pay a surcharge, and a fine ranging from $300 to $1,500.
Jail: Incarceration can be from fifteen days to one year. State prison sentences are authorized in the case of a felony conviction.
DMV Assessment: A Driver Improvement Assessment of $750 payable to the DMV can be paid in a lump sum or in three $250 annual payments.
Following an alcohol related conviction you may be required to install an Ignition Interlock Device, take a Defensive Driver Program, get alcohol counseling, and attend a Victim Impact Panel.
A person facing a DWI/DWAI conviction would be wise to retain the services of an attorney knowledgeable in DWI defense to guide them through the legal minefield.
The Department of Motor Vehicles announced administrative changes, effective 9/25/2012, regarding how to handle applications for re-licensing persistent DWI offenders.
In prior years, the DMV would search back ten years and review the driving records of motorists who have made an application to be re-licensed after a DWI conviction.
The new DMV policy is to review a motorist's lifetime driving record. It is unclear how they will review the past record of motorists who have resided in several different states or countries. An application for re-licensing will be denied if the record shows five or more alcohol/drug driving convictions. A person who fits in that category will be denied a license for life.
Any person who has their license suspended or revoked for a specific period (ninety days, six months, or one year, for example) will no longer be able to get a new license immediately after completing the Drinking Driver Program (DDP). They will be required to serve the entire revocation period.
Permanently losing your license will impact your entire future. An experienced attorney familiar with current DWI legislation should be contacted before the motorist has to deal with these administrative changes.
New York State's Vehicle and Traffic Law (VTL 1193-1(b)) requires that everyone convicted of Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) either as a misdemeanor or felony under Section 1192(2) (2a) (3) must, among other penalties, install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) for at least six months in any vehicle they own or operate.
The IID must be installed within 10 days of sentencing. The convicted motorist is also required to surrender their New York drivers license to the court at sentencing. Courts generally grant what is called a "20-day order" which extends the motorist's driving privilege for 20 additional days to permit them the opportunity to enroll in the Drinking Driver Program and qualify for a "conditional license".
In interpreting the provision for installing the IID within 10 days of sentencing to the issuance of a "20-day order" would seem to provide that the convicted motorist would have 20 days of extended full driving privileges and the first 10 days would be free from the IID requirement. This is not the case.
According to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, even though the motorist has 10 days to install the IID, they CAN NOT operate a motor vehicle without the IID within the first 10 day period.
The defense attorney must advise their client to have the IID installed BEFORE sentencing so they can legally drive themselves away from court.
To avoid further legal complications, an experienced attorney familiar with current DWI legislation should be contacted before the motorist has to appear in court.
Upon a conviction in New York for a criminal DWI charge (Misdemeanor or Felony), attorneys and their clients have become accustomed to having the court grant what has become known as a "twenty day order". This gives the convicted motorist a twenty day extension of their driving privilege before the license revocation begins.
This means the motorist could continue operating a motor vehicle for an additional twenty days to give them time to enroll in the New York Drinking Driver Program (DDP) and qualify for a conditional license.
Additionally, with the Ignition Interlock Device (IID) requirement, the
motorist is given ten days to have the IID installed.
The result of these two "extensions" working together is that the convicted motorist has been granted a twenty day grace period to enroll in the DDP......... the first ten without having the IID installed.
THIS IS NO LONGER THE CASE
The position of the New York Department of Motor Vehicles has changed. The motorist is still eligible for the "twenty day order", however, they will be required to have the IID installed IMMEDIATELY while taking advantage of the grace period. Effectively the motorist can not drive home from the court after sentencing without having the IID installed. They will still have unrestricted driving privileges during the grace period as long as the IID is installed on any vehicle they own or operate.
Attorneys should consider advising their clients who they believe will be entering a plea of guilty to a criminal DWI violation, to have the IID installed BEFORE being sentenced.
As a condition of sentence, the motorist convicted of drunk driving crimes in New York State (felony or misdemeanor) must be ordered to have an Ignition Interlock Device installed in all vehicles they own or operate.
This condition will be in effect for at least six months, and can, at the discretion of the sentencing court, be for the term of a conditional discharge which is one year, or term of probation which is three years for a misdemeanor or five years for a felony.
The Ignition Interlock Device provision is in addition to any other term of probation or conditional discharge. These additional provisions include, but are not limited to, license revocation, fine, jail term as specified in the following Penalties for Alcohol or Drug-related Violations New York State Department of Motor Vehicles chart.
Who installs and Maintains the Ignition Interlock Device?
New York State requires the installation of an Ignition Interlock Device in vehicles owned and/or operated by a person convicted of DWI. An experienced DWI attorney should be contacted immediately when a person is arrested for DWI.
Installation and maintenance of the Ignition Interlock Device can be a condition of probation (five years for a felony or three years for a misdemeanor) or a conditional discharge (one year). The minimum requirement must be for a period of at least six months.
The cost of installation and maintenance of the Ignition Interlock Device will be the responsibility of the defendant, unless the Court determines the defendant is "financially unable" to install the Ignition Interlock Device. This is a different standard than the indigence standard for assigned counsel.
The required form to be completed by the defendant is a five page New York State Financial Disclosure Report which must be returned to the court for review. The court, upon reviewing the financial application, can determine that the defendant is "financially unable" to pay for the installation and maintenance of the Ignition Interlock Device. If this is the case, the regulations require that the company supplying the Device will assume the cost of installation and maintenance of the Ignition Interlock Device. An unofficial survey of judges in the Capital District of New York State discloses that judges are reluctant to make this determination of financial inability.
What Do I Need to Know About New York State and the Toughest DWI Laws In the Country?
Effective August 15th 2010, all persons convicted of a felony or misdemeanor Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) must have an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) installed on any vehicles owned or operated by the defendant as a condition of the sentence.
Since the enactment of Leandra's Law, with a Zero-Tolerance Policy, and mandatory program of Ignition Interlock Devices for DWI convictions, New York State enforces some of the most severe drunk driving penalties. It is critical to hire an experienced and aggressive DWI defense attorney in Upstate New York to defend a drunk driving charge.
An Ignition Interlock Device measures the Blood Alcohol Equivalent (BAC) found in a sample of a persons breath. It is connected to the vehicle's ignition which prevents the vehicle from being started when the Blood Alcohol Equivalent exceeds the level calibrated into the device. In New York State the Blood Alcohol Equivalent calibration level is .025%. The driver must also provide additional breath samples at random intervals to keep the vehicle running.
The requirement to install the Ignition Interlock Device pertains to any misdemeanor or felony DWI conviction, or the conviction of any crime under the Penal Law which has an element of driving while intoxicated. This Ignition Interlock Device requirement does not apply to convictions for Driving While Ability Impaired by alcohol, drugs, or the combination of the two.
New York State has some of the toughest DWI laws in the country. If you are arrested for DWI it is very important that you call on the best DWI defense attorney to represent you; one who closely follows the progress of recent legislation.
The law is named in memory of Leandra Rosado, an 11-year-old girl who was killed when an SUV she was riding in crashed in October of 2009. Leandra was the only person to die in the crash. The driver of the SUV was sentenced to 4-12 years in prison for the felony DWI charges.
Leandra's Law has two major components relating to DWI. The first component toughens the penalties for DWI, elevating driving while intoxicated to a Class E Felony if a child under the age of 16 is in the vehicle. Additionally, provisions of the Penal Law relating to vehicular assault, vehicular manslaughter, aggravated vehicular assault, and aggravated vehicular manslaughter, are all upgraded one grade if the under 16 passenger receives serious physical injury or dies.
The arresting officer is required to make a notation on the traffic ticket of C.I.V. (Child in Vehicle) which alerts the court and the district attorney that there was a child in the vehicle when the violation occurred. This notation does not relieve the officer of the requirement that they file a felony complaint with the court, since a felony can not be charged by a "simplified information" traffic ticket. In instances where the operator of the vehicle is a parent or guardian of the child, the officer is required to notify county social services (Child Protective Services) of the violation.
The second component of Leandra's Law requires all drivers convicted of misdemeanor and felony drunk driving charges, even first-time offenders, to install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) on any vehicles they own or operate. The motorist will be required to blow into the device, and if any alcohol is detected, the vehicle will not start. A driver is further restricted by having to blow into the device at random intervals, and if alcohol is detected, the vehicle will then shut down.