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.

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.

driver license.jpegThe 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.

New York State’s “Move Over Law” has changed.

trooper car.jpgOn all roads and highways, the motorist must use extreme caution when approaching an emergency vehicle stopped on the side of the roadway. Drivers must reduce their speed, and on highways with multiple lanes, drivers must move from the lane adjacent to the emergency or hazard vehicle, unless conditions prevent doing so safely.

tow truck.jpgEffective January 1, 2012, the law which required drivers to shift lanes when approaching emergency vehicles with flashing red and white lights, will now include hazard vehicles, including tow trucks, roadside assistance vehicles, highway crews, and other emergency vehicles with amber lights.

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

judges bench.jpgAs 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.

New York State was the first state to pass cell phone legislation in 2001. The law made it a traffic infraction for a motorist to drive a motor vehicle while using a hand held cell phone.

Conscientious motorists adapted to this legislation by using hands free connections such as bluetooth devices. Still, others would take the risk of a violation, knowing the only potential penalty was a fine. Indeed, if you parked along any busy traffic light intersection in the capital district, you would see an alarming number of intentional cell phone violations.

no cell phone use.jpgAt the time, the motorist convicted of using a hand held cell phone would be liable to pay a fine of up to $100.00. The violation carried no points on the motorist’s license.

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.

money.jpgInstallation 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.

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.

IID.jpegAn 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.
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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.

Everything has changed in regard to how to defend a person who has been arrested for DWI in Upstate New York State. It is absolutely critical that you to call a highly experienced DWI lawyer who is on top of all DWI laws.

breathalyzer.jpgThe major deciding factor in advising a client who has just been arrested for DWI, whether to submit or refuse to take a chemical test, is just how drunk they are. This determination is usually made in the wee small hours of the morning over the telephone when the client calls a lawyer. Few intoxicated drivers will be completely candid with an attorney about the level of their intoxication or how much alcohol they have consumed. In fact, many drivers are unable to remember how much they drank. Frankly, this is not the type of conversation an attorney wants to have with their client when, in all probably, there is a police officer in the room with the client when he calls his lawyer.

This is a delicate situation which requires a highly competent DWI defense attorney to assess the level of intoxication by judging his client’s speech patterns. This is not the time to risk hiring an attorney who isn’t fully knowledgeable in the area of DWI defense. If the lawyer makes a mistake and advises the motorist to refuse the test, he subjects his client to the whole range of potential penalties mentioned in “(Part I)”.

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