Collateral Consequences of a Drunk Driving Conviction
Driving While Intoxicated with Alcohol and Driving Under the Influence, DUI, Drugs, are violations of the New York State Vehicle & Traffic Law (VTL). Harold Dee, a former NYS Traffic Court Judge, has been practicing Vehicle and Traffic Law for 34 years. He would like you to be aware of the collateral consequences of a conviction of the charges.
Conviction of Drunk Driving, DWI, by an adult is a misdemeanor conviction. It is a lifetime criminal record. A second Drunk Driving arrest within 10 years of a conviction for a DWI results in a Felony charge. If convicted of a felony, one cannot practice as a professional. Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) is operating with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 of 1%. Driving While Abilty Impaired (DWAI) is a traffic infraction, not a crime, and is charged with “BAC” readings of .05 to .07. However, impaired operation of a motor vehicle must be proved. DWI on a commercial vehicle is .06 and a DWAI conviction can be with a BAC of only .04, consuming only two beers.
A mandatory alcohol abuse screening is ordered by the Court for a blow of .08 or greater and mandatory treatment if a chemical tests reveals a “BAC” reading of greater than .15. The screening must be done in NYS by an Oasis qualified Substance Abuse Counsellor. The acronym OASIS is generated by the Office of Substance Abuse.
If convicted of a DWI a drivers’ privileges are revoked for a minimum of six (6) months. If granted conditional privileges, at the Commissioner’s discretion, for which a motorist is eligible only once every five (5) years, the conditional license will be valid only for work, school, child care, medical and dental for you and members of your household plus three personal hours a week. Granting of conditional privileges requires conviction of an alcohol related charge. It requires attendance at the Drinking Drive’s Program two hours weekly for seven weeks at a present cost of $175. The conditional license is an additional $75. Conviction of any violation, including cell phone and adult seatbelts, will results in revocation of all privileges for the duration of the suspension or revocation period. Make sure you plead Not Guilty to any charges received while on restricted or conditional privileges and contact a Vehicle and Traffic lawyer.
The Department of Motor Vehicles takes no action for equipment violations (taillights, mufflers) and parking violations while on a Conditional license. However, no commercial privileges (CDL) are bestowed for a minimum one year following conviction of any alcohol related offense regardless of the type of vehicle you were operating when arrested. Truck drivers, cab drivers, and delivery persons cannot work in their normal occupations for one year following conviction for an alcohol offense. The record of conviction remains on the driver abstract for 10 years. Canada will not allow US drivers convicted of drug/alcohol to drive into Canada!
REFUSAL TO BLOW OR GIVE BLOOD OR URINE SAMPLE: If the refusal is sustained at a separate DMV Hearing, it will result in loss of a NY license or privilege to operate here (out of staters) for one year and incurs a $750 civil penalty. No conditional license is available after a refusal finding. For your information, New York does not recognize out of state refusals for New York drivers stopped in a sister state.
Death or serious injury to another while intoxicated (.08+) could result in a 20 year jail term and heartbreak for you, your family and that of your innocent victim(s)! Up to one year in jail is possible if the BAC is greater than .18, (Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated). A DWI conviction brings a 6 months revocation and possible (not likely for a first time offender) jail time for readings of .08 through .17 especially if aggravating circumstances such as reckless driving, a high speed, or pedestrian injuries. Probation (if sentenced by the Court) on a misdemeanor is three years while Felony probation is five years.
Up to quadruple rate increases not only of your auto policy but the homeowners, umbrella and key man insurance policies if not dropped altogether! Auto Policy includes all members of household.
A conviction may incur vehicle forfeiture penalties, challenge immigration issues, prejudice child custody and support proceedings, cause the surrender of firearm permits, deny workman’s compensation, and could result in insurance no fault first party benefits denial since operating under the influence violates your automobile insurance agreement with your chosen carrier.
Call us for a FREE Consultation 1- 800-Harold Dee (800.427.6533) or call local (914.241.7963)