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The Impaired Driving Program

One of the most challenging parts of being convicted of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol in New York is finding a way to get to work or school during the period that your license is suspended as a result of the DUI conviction. New York offers a way for you to keep driving to your most important obligations and appointments with the Impaired Driver Program, formerly known as the Drinking Driver Program. Learn more and find out if you’re eligible to participate in New York’s Impaired Driver Program below. If you need legal help after you’re charged with a DWI or DWAI in Orange County, New York, contact our dedicated criminal defense attorneys at Dupée & Monroe for a consultation.

After you’ve been convicted for driving while impaired or driving under the influence in New York, your driving license will be suspended or revoked as of the date of your sentencing. A “Continuation of Driving Privileges,” if issued by the court, will postpone the suspension of your license for an additional 20 days after your DUI sentencing. Participating in the Impaired Driver Program can provide a way for you to keep driving after a DUI conviction. This program is intended as a form of rehabilitation after your conviction, and a way for the state to reduce the damage to human lives and property by drunk drivers.

The Impaired Driver Program is 16 hours long, held over the course of seven sessions lasting two to three hours. During the initial session, participants are screened for a substance abuse problem. If program staff feel that the participant is at risk for or currently has a problem with substance abuse, they will refer that person for a clinical evaluation by a professional approved by the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, to determine if rehabilitation is necessary. Participants may receive a referral for more formal substance abuse treatment if they’ve had two or more convictions for driving under the influence within ten years, when they have attended class while intoxicated, or after requesting help with a substance problem.

After the initial screening, classroom sessions will help participants realize the effects of driving under the influence, and how to make better choices moving forward. Participants will discuss the consequences of driving drunk, both for the drivers themselves and for society at large. Participants can expect class-wide discussions, lectures, presentations and videos addressing legal, medical, and safety consequences of driving while impaired. After successfully completing the program, you will receive a “Notice of Completion,” which will result in the restoration of your license or eligibility to apply for a new license, depending on the terms of your license suspension or revocation. Additional conditions may apply to restoration of your license if you were under 21 when convicted, you refused to submit to a drug or alcohol test when arrested, or you were operating a commercial vehicle when arrested. If you fail to attend all sessions or any required treatment, you may be dropped from the program and will not have your license restored.

In order to enroll in the Impaired Driver Program, you’ll need to contact the appropriate DMV office. On the “Order of Suspension or Revocation” you receive from the Department of Motor Vehicles, you will find the name of the state or county motor vehicle office where you can find a list of agencies certified to offer the program. You will be required to pay a fee to the DMV when you enroll in the Impaired Driver Program, and to the agency you choose upon your first session.

The ideal way to avoid having your driver’s license suspended is to avoid a conviction in the first place. Finding a good criminal defense attorney to protect your rights before a New York criminal court will help to ensure that you are able as soon as possible to move on with your life after an arrest. Contact the Goshen offices of Dupée & Monroe after an arrest for a consultation on your case, at 845-294-8900.

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