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New York’s Drunk Driving Laws

Long Island DWI Attorney

Three Strikes and You’re Out: DWI Laws in New York

Mistakes happen. Good people can make bad decisions, such as driving under the influence in Long Island. Even drivers who have a history of making bad decisions like driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs can generally get their licenses back once they meet certain conditions. But there are limits. According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, three people die in drunk driving crashes every two hours in America.

Given such alarming statistics, not long ago, states began cracking down on habitual offenders. These drivers repeatedly commit drug and drunk driving offenses. So, what happens to someone who gets caught driving while intoxicated a third time in New York?

Types of Offenses

 New York has several classifications of offenses:

  • Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)
  • Driving While Ability Impaired by Alcohol (DWAI-Alcohol)
  • Driving While Ability Impaired by Drugs (DWAI – Drugs)
  • Driving While Ability Impaired by Drugs/Alcohol (DWAI – Combination)

Penalties for Drunk Driving in Long Island

Whether it is DWI or DWAI, the first time you are convicted of one of these offenses in New York, you face no less than a six-month license suspension. Of course, many who are convicted of DWI are rightfully more concerned about the potential one-year jail sentence.

A second offense can carry up to four years in jail with a license revocation of up to a year. This can be devastating to anyone who is trying to keep a job or attend school.

But third and subsequent offenses are the worst, carrying up to a seven-year jail term and a year without your license. To make matters worse, repeat offenders can face a complete ban on getting their licenses back, provided their offenses fall within certain guidelines. That means regardless of the steps you make to rehabilitate or improve your behavior, it is three strikes and you’re out.

What Counts as a “Serious Driving Offense” for the Three Strikes Rule?

According to New York law, serious driving offenses can be:

  • Accidents resulting in fatalities
  • Penal law violations that involve driving
  • Two or more convictions that resulted in five or more points each
  • 20 total points accumulated from all violations

How Long is the Ban on Getting a License Back in Nassau County?

It depends on the types of offenses that resulted in your license being revoked. There are several specific situations that can result in different bans on licensure. If you meet any of the following within the same 25-year period, you could face lengthy restrictions on getting your driving privileges back, even including a total and permanent loss of your license.

Re-Licensure Denied for Two Years (Plus Statutory Suspension)

  • Three or four alcohol or drug related driving convictions within 25 years
  • NO “serious driving offense” (see above)
  • Revocation did not occur because of alcohol or drug related driving offenses
  • Getting your license back requires going through a restricted licensing program for problem drivers

Re-Licensure Denied for Five Years (Plus Statutory Suspension)

  • Three or four alcohol or drug related driving convictions within 25 years
  • NO “serious driving offense” (see above)
  • Revocation DID occur because of alcohol or drug related driving offense
  • Getting your license back requires restricted driving program and use of an ignition interlock

Permanent Loss of NY Drivers License For Driving Under the Influence

  • Five or more alcohol or drug related offenses within 25 years OR
  • Three or four alcohol or drug related driving convictions WITH a conviction for a “serious driving offense” within the same 25-year period
  • Permanently barred from holding a New York license

Dealing with a DWI Arrest in Long Island

Being charged with a DWI or DWAI offense in New York can be very serious, and if you have prior convictions for drug or alcohol related driving offenses or any other serious driving offenses, then you could face a permanent loss of your driving privilege. This can make it impossible for you to get or keep a job, support a family, or do any of the things you must do to survive. If you are facing serious charges, you need aggressive and experienced Long Island DWI attorney who can fight for your rights. Call (888) DUI-LAWYER to schedule your free consultations today.

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