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What Are The Driver’s License Consequences For A DWI Offense?


If a person refuses the breathalyzer, then the court will immediately take his or her driver’s license. If the license is from a different state, then the court can only revoke the person’s right to drive in New York. If a person takes the breathalyzer and the result is at or greater than 0.08 BAC, then that person will lose his or her license at the arraignment, but will usually be able to obtain a hardship privilege that will allow for driving under limited circumstances.

What Happens If Someone Refuses A Blood Or A Breath Test?

One will suffer immediate suspension and subsequent revocation of one’s license or operating privilege, whether or not one is ultimately found guilty of the charge. The defendant will be entitled to a hearing before the DMV in order to address the following questions:

  1. Did the police officer have reasonable grounds to believe that the defendant was DWI?
  2. Did the police officer make a lawful arrest of the defendant?
  3. Did the police provide the defendant with a sufficient warning in clear or unequivocal language prior to the refusal, thereby informing the defendant that a refusal to submit to the chemical test would result in the immediate suspension and subsequent revocation of their license or operating privilege (regardless of whether or not one is found guilty of the charge)?
  4. Did the defendant refuse to submit to such chemical test or any portion thereof?

If the administrative law judge answers all of those questions with a “yes,” and assuming that it is a first offense, then the defendant’s license would be revoked for one year, a $500 civil penalty would be imposed and a driver responsibility assessment of $250 per year for three years would be required.

The only way one would be able to get a conditional license is by receiving a conviction for DWI or DWAI. If driving to work is a necessity for the defendant, then this condition often forces a guilty plea. If the defendant chooses to take his or her case to trial, then the prosecutor can adduce evidence of the refusal and argue to the jury that the refusal is evidence of guilt.

What Is An Ignition Interlock Device? Who Is Required To Have One Installed?

An ignition interlock is a device that is installed in one’s car that measures the alcohol in a person’s system. Once the device is installed, one must blow into the device to start the car. There will also be random tests required while one drives the vehicle. If the machine measures alcohol above a pre-set limit, then the car will not start and a monitoring agency will be notified of the failure. In New York, the court must order the defendant to install the device in all vehicles one owns or operates and maintain it in his vehicle(s) for at least twelve months. A person convicted only of DWAI need not install the interlock device.

What Factors Can Enhance Or Aggravate A DWI Charge?

If one’s BAC is 0.18 or greater, then the charge will likely be aggravated DWI, which increases the penalties. If one has a prior DWI within the previous ten years of the second DWI, then the second DWI will be charged as a felony, which severely increases the penalties.

For more information on Driver’s License Consequences, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (845) 794-1303 today.

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