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Third DWI Offense: What will happen to your license now?

Research shows that driving performance and reaction times are seriously affected by alcohol. If you drink and drive, you are not only a danger to yourself but also to your passenger, other road users, and pedestrians. In fact, every 30 minutes, someone in this country dies in alcohol related crashes. Every 30 minutes! And last year alone more than one million people were injured in alcohol related traffic crashes. Each year drunk driving is responsible for about 25% of these deaths. The effects of alcohol are poor coordination, slurred speech, double vision, decrease of self-control of consciousness and death.

The more a person drinks, the more their ability to make important decisions becomes impaired. After just one drink, a driver can lose their ability to perform the tasks necessary to drive a car. At a certain point, a driver will become illegally intoxicated and can be arrested for attempting to operate a motor vehicle. To determine whether you’re legally driving while intoxicated, the state uses your blood alcohol concentration, or BAC. Law enforcement can charge you with DWI if your BAC is 0.08% (or greater) and you’re 21 years of age or older, 0.04% when you’re driving a commercial motor vehicle and 0.02% if you are younger than 21 years of age. A police officer will administer a Breathalyzer test which determines the amount of alcohol in your lungs. To reach a BAC level of 0.08%, a man weighing approximately 170 pounds would need to consume four standard drinks in on hour on an empty stomach. A woman weighing about 140 pounds would need to consume three drinks in one hour. It takes six hours after drinking for the body to completely eliminate alcohol from its system with a BAC of 0.08%. State laws commonly uses two different acronyms to describe drunken or impaired driving, DWI and DUI. DWI stands for “driving while intoxicated” and typically refers only to alcohol impairment, while DUI stands for “driving under the influence” and can refer to either alcohol or drugs. Even with that being said according to one study, a first-time drunk driving offender has already driven drunk more than 80 times before being arrested drunk. Driving also causes approximately one-third of all traffic fatalities in the United States. But the law is not fooling around anymore, especially with repeat DWI offenders.

The new rules are aimed at the more than 50,000 drivers in New York with valid or suspended licenses and three or more alcohol related convictions. The regulations allow the DMV to review the lifetime record of all drivers who apply to have a license reinstated after a revocation. Upon being reviewed, the DMV can deny any application for license reinstatement if the drivers have five or more alcohol or drug related driving convictions in their lifetime or three or more alcohol or drug related driving convictions in the past 25 years, plus at least one other serious driving offense during that period. A serious driving offense includes: a fatal crash, a driving related penal law conviction, an accumulation of 20 or more points assessed for driving violations within the past 25 years or having two or more driving convictions each worth five points or higher.

Clients whose records include two DWI’s with physical injury involvement are permanently ineligible to have their driving privileges restored. The law states “In no event shall a new license be issued where a person has been twice convicted of a violation of subdivision three or four of sections eleven hundred ninety-two of this article or of driving while intoxicated or of driving while ability is impaired by the use of a drug where physical injury, as defined in section 10.00 of the penal law, has resulted from such offense in each instance.” (VTL § 1193.2(c) (3)). If you have been convicted for driving while intoxicated in the past and have been arrested recently again for driving while intoxicated (or violating one or more subsections of VTL § 1192) contact the attorneys at Dupée & Monroe, P.C. Our attorneys have the experience to carefully guide you through this complicated area of the law.

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