Glenn R. Bruno, Esq.
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Drunk driving license suspensions and revocations in New York

Motorists in New York charged with driving while intoxicated will generally face a lengthy driving ban. Even drivers well below the legal limit who are not charged with a crime may see their licenses suspended for 90 days if they are cited for driving while their ability is impaired by alcohol. New York is also an implied consent state, and the driving privileges of motorists who refuse to submit to a toxicology test can be revoked for a full year. Those with a commercial driver's license face an 18-month revocation for such a refusal.

When toxicology testing reveals that a motorist's blood alcohol level is .08 percent or above, New York law allows for their driving privileges to be suspended even while their prosecution is still pending. Those accused of drunk driving may request a hardship license, but such accommodations are generally only made when the individual concerned has no other way of getting to and from work or making other important journeys. Drivers with one or more prior drunk driving convictions are generally not eligible for a hardship license.

Leandra's Law was passed in New York in 2009, and it requires those convicted of a DWI in the state to have an ignition interlock device fitted to their vehicles. An ignition interlock restriction is also placed on their driver's licenses. The 2009 law also introduced more severe penalties for certain kinds of drunk driving charges.

Experienced criminal defense attorneys may seek to have drunk driving charges reduced during plea discussions with the prosecutor involved. While evidence in DWI cases, such as toxicology test results, often appears compelling, prosecutors will likely be aware that it may be challenged successfully when law enforcement has strayed beyond firmly established boundaries or toxicology testing equipment has not been properly maintained.

Source: N.Y. Department of Motor Vehicles, Penalties for alcohol or drug-related violations, Accessed June 16, 2016

Source: N.Y. Department of Motor Vehicles, Leandra's Law & ignition interlock devices, Accessed June 16, 2016

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