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Driver's License Challenges for the Multiple Alcohol or Drug Offender

In September of 2012, at the direction of Gov. Cuomo, the Department of Motor Vehicles issued new regulations that are directed at keeping drivers off the road who have sustained multiple convictions for either alcohol or drug related driving offenses. These new regulations have had a tremendous impact on making it more difficult for offenders with numerous driving related offenses from obtaining a driver’s license from the Department of Motor Vehicles. We are encouraging prospective clients to make efforts to obtain a lifetime driver’s abstract so that they can review their entire driving history and assess whether or not they are at risk for permanently losing their license in New York State. Some of these new regulations are summarized below:

Lifetime Record Review by DMV

DMV will be able to review the lifetime record of all drivers who apply to have a license reinstated after a revocation.

Truly Permanent License Revocation for Persistently Drunk & Dangerous Drivers

After conducting a lifetime record review, DMV will deny any application for reinstatement of a license after revocation if the applicant has:

  • Five or more alcohol or drug related driving convictions in his or her lifetime, or
  • Three or more alcohol or drug related driving convictions in the last 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 last 25 years, or having two or more driving convictions each worth five points or higher.

Delayed Re-Licensing, Driving Restrictions, & Interlocks for Other Drivers with Repeated Alcohol- or Drug-Related Driving Convictions

For those drivers seeking reinstatement of a license after revocation who have three or four alcohol or drug related convictions but no serious driving offense in the last 25 years, DMV will:

  • Deny their applications for five years beyond their statutory revocation period if the applicant’s license was revoked for an alcohol or drug related offense; or two additional years if the applicant’s license was revoked for a reason other than an alcohol or drug related offense;
  • Restore the applicant’s license after that additional period as a “restricted” license limiting the applicant’s driving to, for example, travel to and from work or medical visits; and
  • For those drivers whose revocations stem from an alcohol-related offense, require an interlock on the vehicle driven by the applicant for five years.

End the Reduction of Mandatory Suspension or Revocation Periods

Currently, repeat drunk drivers whose licenses have been revoked or suspended for six months or a year can nevertheless get their full driving privileges back in as little as seven weeks by completing DMV’s Drinking Driver Program. DMV’s new regulations will ensure that those drivers cannot obtain their driving privileges until their full term of suspension or revocation has ended.