DWI License Penalties
If you have been charged with a DWI, you may be feeling terrified about the consequences. You may be worried about the DWI license penalties and how that is going to affect your ability to provide for yourself and your family. Here is what you need to know.
A commonly asked question people ask about DWI license penalties is, “what consequences I will face regarding my license if this is my first DWI offense?” They wonder about things like how they’ll be able to get to work. When you appear in front of the judge at your arraignment, the judge must take your license if you took the test and blew greater than 0.08. In that case, the only thing we can do is get you hardship driving privileges, which are very restrictive. You’re allowed to drive back and forth to work, but not during work. If you refused the breath test, the judge must take your license immediately, with no driving privileges.
DWI License Penalties: Refusal Hearing
Within 15 days after your arraignment, we will go to the Department of Motor Vehicles for what’s called a refusal hearing. We’ll appear before an administrative law judge and, if we are able to have that hearing adjourned – for various reasons, such as failure of the officer to appear, or a need for more time to investigate your case – we may be able to get some of your driving privileges restored. If we’re successful in doing so, we may be able to resolve your case before we have to deal with the refusal hearing again.
DWI License Penalties: First Offense
Will you lose your license temporarily? Yes. If it’s your first offense, you can get a conditional license once you’ve been convicted of something. If you have multiple DWIs, however – especially within the past five years – there will be no conditional driving privileges. That five-year period runs from the date of your prior conviction (or the date you got your license back, in some instances) to the date of your current offense.
DWI License Penalties: Multiple Charges
If you have accumulated multiple convictions – perhaps this is your third one in 25 years – the DMV will impose its new rule which, although not court sanctioned, states that if you have three alcohol convictions within 25 years and your last one results in revocation of your license, you will lose your license for at least 5 years. Then, once you get it back, you will have to put an ignition interlock device in your car and keep it in place for another five years – and that can be quite expensive. It costs $200 to get the device installed and $100 a month to maintain it. In terms of severity, New York State’s punishments for these types of things are moving steadily toward closer alignment with those of other states.
If you are worried about DWI license penalties, please call our Hamburg DWI lawyers office to receive a free confidential case evaluation.