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Nassau County DWI/DWAI Lawyer

In New York State, the Driving While Intoxicated statute has six (6) separate offenses:

The first offense is Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI). This offense is committed where the driver consumed alcohol to the extent that he "has actually impaired, to any extent, the physical and mental abilities which he is expected to possess in order to operate a vehicle as a reasonable and prudent driver." People v. Cruz, 48 N.Y.2d 419, 423 N.Y.S.2d 625 (1979). DWAI is a traffic infraction and not a crime. DWAI is an offense to which the more serious charge of Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) is often reduced.

The second offense is Driving While Intoxicated; Per Se. This offense deals with operating a motor vehicle with a specific blood alcohol concentration (BAC). In New York, it is DWI per se to operate a motor vehicle with a BAC of .08% or more.

The third offense is Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated (Aggravated DWI). This offense is committed when a person (a) operates a motor vehicle with a BAC of .18% or more; or (b) operates a motor vehicle in violation of VTL Section 1192.(2), (3), (4), (4-a), with a child under the age of 16 in the vehicle (Leandra's Law).

The fourth offense is common law Driving While Intoxicated (DWI). You can be charged with DWI regardless of whether there is a chemical test (for example, if you refused to submit to a chemical test). The legal standard for DWI is that "the driver has voluntarily consumed alcohol to the extent that he is incapable of employing the physical and mental abilities which he is expected to possess in order to operate a vehicle as a reasonable and prudent driver." People v. Cruz, 48 N.Y. 2d 419, 423 N.Y.S.2d 625 (1979).

The fifth offense deals with operating a motor vehicle while impaired by drugs (DWAI Drugs). While DWAI Alcohol is a traffic infraction, DWAI Drugs is a crime. The legal standard for DWAI Drugs, however is the same as DWAI Alcohol. Specifically, a person is guilty of DWAI Drugs when the driver has consumed certain drugs to the extent that he "has actually impaired, to any extent, the physical and mental abilities which he is expected to possess in order to operate a vehicle as a reasonable and prudent driver." People v. Cruz, 48 N.Y. 2d 419, 423 N.Y.S.2d 625 (1979).      

The sixth offense is Driving While Ability Impaired by the Combined Influence of Drugs or of Alcohol and any Drug or Drugs (DWAI Combined Influence)." The standard for this offense is the same as for DWAI, only the impairment can be from a combination of certain drugs or of alcohol and a drug or drugs.

New York State has additional DWI provisions which apply to commercial motor vehicles. As with any criminal offense, the prosecution bears the burden of proving the charges against a defendant "beyond a reasonable doubt." Defending a DWI charge has become incredibly complicated and the penalties upon conviction has become more severe because of the increased political and public intolerance towards those who drink and drive.

In a concerted effort to reduce Driving While Intoxicated and Driving While Ability Impaired By Drugs, New York State has imposed strict laws against these offenses. If you are arrested and charged with Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) or Driving While Ability Impaired By Drugs (DWAI Drugs), the consequences can be severe; you may lose your driver’s license, pay heavy fines, have your vehicle impounded and seized, and even receive a jail or prison sentence. Driving While Intoxicated convictions remain on your permanent criminal record and as a result, may interfere with your livelihood, causing you to lose your job or hinder future employment opportunities. With such high stakes, it is crucial that you contact a qualified DWI defense attorney as soon as you are arrested for driving while intoxicated.

At Michael A. Arbeit, P.C., we understand the anxiety and fear one feels after being arrested for Driving While Intoxicated, and we will diligently represent you to ensure the best possible resolution for your case. We have a thorough understanding of sobriety tests and law enforcement protocol which can be part of an effective and comprehensive defense against the DWI charges you face. During our initial consultation with you, we will start to investigate and assess if there was police error, field sobriety test errors or inaccuracies, failure to follow proper protocol or administrative errors which may prove your innocence or lead to the dismissal of charges by the prosecution. If you have been arrested for Driving While Intoxicated or Driving While Ability Impaired by Drugs, contact Michael A. Arbeit, P.C. immediately who will fight aggressively on your behalf and protect your rights.  In New York, the Ignition Interlock laws are very strict and you need an experienced attorney that knows all about the ignition interlock provisions.  

  • DWI in NY: Driving While Intoxicated; .08 BAC or higher or other evidence of intoxication.
  • Aggravated DWI in NY: Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated: .18 BAC or higher.
  • DWAI/Alcohol: Driving While Ability Impaired (by alcohol); .05 BAC to .07 BAC, or other evidence of impairment.
  • DWAI/Drug in NY: Driving While Ability Impaired by a single Drug other than alcohol.
  • DWAI/Combination in NY: Driving While Ability Impaired by a the Combined Influence or Drugs or Alcohol.
  • Refusing A Chemical Test(Breathalyzer or other test): A driver who refuses to take a chemical test (normally a test of breath, blood or urine) can receive a driver license revocation of at least one year (18 months for a commercial driver) and must pay a $500 civil penalty ($550 for a commercial driver) to apply for a new driver license. A driver who refuses a chemical test during the five years after a DWI-related charge or previous refusal will have their driver license taken away for at least 18 months (permanent for a commercial driver) and must pay a $750 civil penalty to apply for a new driver license. If you’re under age 21, and refuse a chemical test during the five years after a DWI-related charge or previous refusal, you will have your driver license revoked for at least one year or until age 21, whichever is longer – And you have to pay a $750 civil penalty to apply for a new driver license.
  • NY Zero Tolerance Law: A driver who is less than 21 years of age and who drives with a .02 BAC to .07 BAC violates the Zero Tolerance Law.

If you’re arrested for any of these violations, these are the potential fines and jail time you’ll be facing.

AGGRAVATED DRIVING WHILE INTOXICATED
A-DWI (.18 and higher Blood Alcohol Content [BAC])

CONVICTION

FINE ONLY*

JAIL SENTENCE

LICENSE ACTION**

1st Offense (Misdemeanor)

Minimum $1,000 - Maximum $2,500

Up to 1 Year

Minimum 1-year revocation

2nd Offense Within 5 years (Class E Felony)

Minimum $1,000 - Maximum $5,000

Up to 4 Years; minimum 5 days jail or 30 days of community service

Minimum 18-month revocation

3rd Offense or more Within 10 years (Class D Felony)

Minimum $2,000 - Maximum $10,000

Up to 7 Years; minimum 10 days jail or 60 days of community service

Minimum 18-month revocation**

DRIVING WHILE INTOXICATED
DWI (.08 and higher Blood Alcohol Content [BAC] or other evidence of
intoxication)
– OR -
DRIVING WHILE ABILITY IMPAIRED BY A DRUG

DWI-Drug

CONVICTION

FINE ONLY*

JAIL SENTENCE

LICENSE ACTION**

1st Offense (Misdemeanor)

Minimum $500 - Maximum $1,000

Up to 1 Year

Minimum 6-Month Revocation

2nd Offense Within 10 years (Class E Felony)

Minimum $1,000 - Maximum $5,000

Up to 4 Years; minimum 5 days jail or 30 days of community service

Minimum 1-Year Revocation, plus ignition interlock and alcohol assessment

3rd Offense or more Within 5 years (Class D Felony)

Minimum $2,000 - Maximum $10,000

Up to 7 Years; minimum 10 days jail or 60 days of community service

Minimum 1-Year Revocation, plus ignition interlock and alcohol assessment

2nd Offense Within 10 years (Class E Felony)

Minimum $1,000 - Maximum $5,000

Up to 4 Years

Minimum 1-Year Revocation

3rd Offense or more Within 10 years (Class D Felony)

Minimum $2,000 - Maximum $10,000

Up to 7 Years

Minimum 1-Year Revocation

DRIVING
WHILE ABILITY IMPAIRED BY A COMBINATION OF ALCOHOL OR DRUGS
>
DWAI-Combination

CONVICTION

FINE ONLY*

JAIL SENTENCE

LICENSE ACTION**

1st Offense (Misdemeanor)

Minimum $500 - Maximum $1,000

Up to 1 Year

Minimum 6-Month Revocation

2nd Offense Within 5 years (E Felony)

Minimum $1,000 - Maximum $5,000

Up to 4 Years

Minimum 1-Year revocation

3rd Offense Within 10 years (D Felony)

Minimum $1,000 - Maximum $5,000

Up to 7 Years

Minimum 18-month revocation**

DRIVING
WHILE ABILITY IMPAIRED BY ALCOHOL
>
DWAI (more than .05 up to .07 Blood Alcohol Content [BAC])

CONVICTION>

FINE ONLY*

JAIL SENTENCE

LICENSE ACTION**

1st Offense (Traffic Infraction)

Minimum $300 - Maximum $500

Up to 15 Days

90-Day Suspension

2nd Offense Within 5 years (Traffic Infraction)

Minimum $500 - Maximum $750

Up to 30 Days

Minimum 6-Month Revocation

3rd Offense Within 10 years (Misdemeanor)

Minimum $750 - Maximum $1,500

Up to 180 Days

Minimum 1-Year Revocation if current violation occurred within 5 years of previous violation**

ZERO
TOLERANCE

Drivers Under 21 (DMV administrative finding of .02 to .07 Blood
Alcohol Content [BAC])

 

CIVIL PENALTY

LICENSE ACTION

ADDED FEE

1st Offense

Minimum $125

6-Month Suspension

$100 Suspension Termination Fee

2nd Offense

Minimum $125

1-Year Revocation or until age 21, whichever is longer

$100 Re-Application Fee

* Conviction fine only. Does not include mandatory conviction surcharge or crime victims assistance fee.

** For license revocations, the Department of Motor Vehicles determines when your license can be returned. Its return or reinstatement, based on state law or regulation, is not automatic. You must reapply for your license and may have to take a test. Three or more alcohol or drug-related offenses with 10 years can result in a permanent revocation, with a waiver request permitted after at least five years.

Mandatory Screening – If you are charged with or convicted of certain alcohol-related offenses, the courts will order alcohol screening and/or alcohol evaluation, prior to sentencing.

* § 1198. Installation  and  Operation  of Ignition Interlock Devices.
  1. Applicability. The provisions of this section shall apply  throughout
  the  state  to each person required or otherwise ordered by a court as a
  condition of probation or conditional discharge to install  and  operate
  an  ignition  interlock  device  in  any vehicle which he or she owns or
  operates.
    2. Requirements. (a) In addition to any other penalties prescribed  by
  law, the court shall require that any person who has been convicted of a
  violation  of  subdivision two, two-a or three of section eleven hundred
  ninety-two of this article, or any crime defined by this chapter or  the
  penal  law  of  which  an  alcohol-related violation of any provision of
  section eleven hundred  ninety-two  of  this  article  is  an  essential
  element,  to  install  and  maintain,  as  a  condition  of probation or
  conditional  discharge,  a  functioning  ignition  interlock  device  in
  accordance  with  the  provisions of this section and, as applicable, in
  accordance with the provisions of subdivisions one and one-a of  section
  eleven  hundred  ninety-three  of  this  article; provided, however, the
  court may not authorize the operation of a motor vehicle by  any  person
  whose  license  or privilege to operate a motor vehicle has been revoked
  except as provided herein. For any such individual subject to a sentence
  of probation, installation and maintenance of  such  ignition  interlock
  device shall be a condition of probation.
    (b)  Nothing  contained  in  this section shall prohibit a court, upon
  application by a probation department, from modifying the conditions  of
  probation  of  any  person  convicted  of  any  violation  set  forth in
  paragraph (a) of this subdivision prior to the effective  date  of  this
  section,  to  require  the installation and maintenance of a functioning
  ignition interlock device, and such person shall thereafter  be  subject
  to the provisions of this section.
    (c)  Nothing  contained  in  this  section  shall authorize a court to
  sentence any person to a period of probation  or  conditional  discharge
  for  the  purpose  of  subjecting  such person to the provisions of this
  section, unless such person would have otherwise been so eligible for  a
  sentence of probation or conditional discharge.
    3.  Conditions.  (a)  Notwithstanding  any other provision of law, the
  commissioner may grant a post-revocation  conditional  license,  as  set
  forth  in  paragraph  (b)  of this subdivision, to a person who has been
  convicted of a violation of subdivision two, two-a or three  of  section
  eleven  hundred ninety-two of this article and who has been sentenced to
  a period of probation or conditional discharge, provided the person  has
  satisfied  the  minimum  period of license revocation established by law
  and the commissioner has been notified that such person may operate only
  a motor vehicle equipped with a functioning ignition  interlock  device.
  No  such  request  shall  be  made  nor shall such a license be granted,
  however, if such person has been found by a court to  have  committed  a
  violation  of  section  five  hundred  eleven of this chapter during the
  license revocation period or deemed by a  court  to  have  violated  any
  condition  of  probation or conditional discharge set forth by the court
  relating to the operation of a  motor  vehicle  or  the  consumption  of
  alcohol.  In  exercising  discretion  relating  to  the  issuance  of  a
  post-revocation conditional license pursuant to  this  subdivision,  the
  commissioner  shall  not deny such issuance based solely upon the number
  of convictions for violations  of  any  subdivision  of  section  eleven
  hundred  ninety-two  of this article committed by such person within the
  ten years prior to application for such license. Upon the termination of
  the period of probation or conditional discharge set by the  court,  the
  person  may  apply  to  the commissioner for restoration of a license or
  privilege to operate a motor vehicle in accordance with this chapter.
    (b) Notwithstanding any inconsistent  provision  of  this  chapter,  a
  post-revocation conditional license granted pursuant to paragraph (a) of
  this  subdivision shall be valid only for use by the holder thereof, (1)
  enroute to and from  the  holder's  place  of  employment,  (2)  if  the
  holder's  employment  requires  the  operation  of  a motor vehicle then
  during the hours thereof, (3) enroute to and from a class or  course  at
  an  accredited  school,  college  or  university  or at a state approved
  institution of vocational or technical training, (4) to and  from  court
  ordered probation activities, (5) to and from a motor vehicle office for
  the  transaction  of  business relating to such license, (6) for a three
  hour consecutive daytime period, chosen by  the  department,  on  a  day
  during  which  the  participant  is  not  engaged in usual employment or
  vocation, (7) enroute to and from a medical examination or treatment  as
  part  of a necessary medical treatment for such participant or member of
  the participant's household, as evidenced by a written statement to that
  effect from a licensed medical practitioner, (8) enroute to and  from  a
  class or an activity which is an authorized part of the alcohol and drug
  rehabilitation   program   and  at  which  participant's  attendance  is
  required, and (9) enroute to and from a place, including  a  school,  at
  which  a child or children of the participant are cared for on a regular
  basis and which is  necessary  for  the  participant  to  maintain  such
  participant's  employment or enrollment at an accredited school, college
  or university or at  a  state  approved  institution  of  vocational  or
  technical training.
    (c)   The   post-revocation  conditional  license  described  in  this
  subdivision may be revoked by  the  commissioner  for  sufficient  cause
  including  but  not  limited to, failure to comply with the terms of the
  condition of probation or conditional discharge set forth by the  court,
  conviction  of  any  traffic  offense  other than one involving parking,
  stopping or standing or  conviction  of  any  alcohol  or  drug  related
  offense, misdemeanor or felony or failure to install or maintain a court
  ordered ignition interlock device.
    (d)  Nothing contained herein shall prohibit the court from requiring,
  as a condition of probation or conditional discharge,  the  installation
  of  a  functioning  ignition  interlock  device  in any vehicle owned or
  operated by a person sentenced  for  a  violation  of  subdivision  two,
  two-a, or three of section eleven hundred ninety-two of this chapter, or
  any  crime  defined  by  this  chapter  or  the  penal  law  of which an
  alcohol-related violation of any provision  of  section  eleven  hundred
  ninety-two  of this chapter is an essential element, if the court in its
  discretion, determines that such a condition is necessary to ensure  the
  public safety. Imposition of an ignition interlock condition shall in no
  way  limit  the effect of any period of license suspension or revocation
  set forth by the commissioner or the court.
    (e) Nothing contained herein shall prevent the court from applying any
  other conditions of probation or conditional discharge allowed  by  law,
  including treatment for alcohol or drug abuse, restitution and community
  service.
    (f) The commissioner shall note on the operator's record of any person
  restricted  pursuant  to  this  section  that,  in addition to any other
  restrictions, conditions or limitations, such person may operate only  a
  motor vehicle equipped with an ignition interlock device.
    4.  Proof  of  compliance  and recording of condition.   (a) Following
  imposition by the court of the use of an ignition interlock device as  a
  condition  of  probation  or  conditional discharge it shall require the
  person to provide proof of compliance with this section to the court and
  the probation department or other monitor where  such  person  is  under
  probation  or  conditional discharge supervision. If the person fails to
  provide for such proof of installation, absent a finding by the court of
  good cause for that failure which is entered in the  record,  the  court
  may  revoke,  modify, or terminate the person's sentence of probation or
  conditional  discharge  as provided under law.  Good cause may include a
  finding that the person is not the owner of  a  motor  vehicle  if  such
  person asserts under oath that such person is not the owner of any motor
  vehicle and that he or she will not operate any motor vehicle during the
  period  of  interlock  restriction except as may be otherwise authorized
  pursuant to law. "Owner" shall have the  same  meaning  as  provided  in
  section one hundred twenty-eight of this chapter.
    (b) When a court imposes the condition specified in subdivision one of
  this  section, the court shall notify the commissioner in such manner as
  the commissioner may prescribe, and the  commissioner  shall  note  such
  condition  on  the  operating  record  of  the  person  subject  to such
  conditions.
    5. Cost, installation and maintenance.  (a) The cost of installing and
  maintaining the ignition interlock device shall be borne by  the  person
  subject  to  such  condition  unless the court determines such person is
  financially unable to afford  such  cost  whereupon  such  cost  may  be
  imposed  pursuant  to  a  payment plan or waived.   In the event of such
  waiver, the cost of  the  device  shall  be  borne  in  accordance  with
  regulations  issued  under  paragraph  (g) of subdivision one of section
  eleven hundred ninety-three of this article or pursuant  to  such  other
  agreement  as may be entered into for provision of the device. Such cost
  shall be considered a fine for  the  purposes  of  subdivision  five  of
  section  420.10  of  the  criminal  procedure  law.  Such cost shall not
  replace, but shall instead be in addition to, any fines, surcharges,  or
  other costs imposed pursuant to this chapter or other applicable laws.
    (b)  The  installation  and  service  provider  of the device shall be
  responsible for the installation, calibration, and maintenance  of  such
  device.
    6.  Certification.  (a)  The  commissioner of the department of health
  shall approve ignition interlock devices for  installation  pursuant  to
  subdivision  one  of  this  section and shall publish a list of approved
  devices.
    (b)  After  consultation  with  manufacturers  of  ignition  interlock
  devices  and  the  national  highway  traffic safety administration, the
  commissioner of the department  of  health,  in  consultation  with  the
  commissioner  and the office of probation and correctional alternatives,
  shall promulgate  regulations  regarding  standards  for,  and  use  of,
  ignition  interlock devices. Such standards shall include provisions for
  setting a minimum and maximum calibration range and shall  include,  but
  not be limited to, requirements that the devices:
    (1)  have  features  that make circumventing difficult and that do not
  interfere with the normal or safe operation of the vehicle;
    (2) work accurately and reliably in an unsupervised environment;
    (3) resist tampering and give evidence if tampering is attempted;
    (4) minimize inconvenience to a sober user;
    (5) require a proper, deep,  lung  breath  sample  or  other  accurate
  measure of blood alcohol content equivalence;
    (6) operate reliably over the range of automobile environments;
    (7)  correlate  well with permissible levels of alcohol consumption as
  may be established by the sentencing court or by any provision  of  law;
  and
    (8)   are  manufactured  by  a  party  covered  by  product  liability
  insurance.
    (c)  The  commissioner  of  the  department  of  health  may,  in  his
  discretion,  adopt  in  whole  or  relevant part, the guidelines, rules,
  regulations, studies, or independent laboratory tests performed  on  and
  relied  upon  for  the  certification  or approval of ignition interlock
  devices by other states, their agencies or commissions.
    7.  Use  of other vehicles. (a) Any requirement of this article or the
  penal law that a person operate a vehicle only if it is equipped with an
  ignition interlock device shall apply to every motor vehicle operated by
  that person including, but not limited to,  vehicles  that  are  leased,
  rented or loaned.
    (b)  No person shall knowingly rent, lease, or lend a motor vehicle to
  a person known to have had his or her driving  privilege  restricted  to
  vehicles  equipped  with an ignition interlock device unless the vehicle
  is so equipped. Any person whose  driving  privilege  is  so  restricted
  shall  notify  any  other  person  who  rents,  leases, or loans a motor
  vehicle to him or her of such driving restriction.
    (c) A violation of paragraph (a) or (b) of this subdivision shall be a
  misdemeanor.
    8. Employer vehicle. Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision one
  and paragraph (d) of subdivision nine of this section, if  a  person  is
  required  to  operate a motor vehicle owned by said person's employer in
  the course and scope of his or her employment, the  person  may  operate
  that  vehicle  without  installation  of  an approved ignition interlock
  device only in the course and scope of such employment and only  if  the
  employer  has been notified that the person's driving privilege has been
  restricted under the provisions of this article or the penal law and the
  person whose privilege has been so restricted has provided the court and
  probation department with written documentation indicating the  employer
  has  knowledge of the restriction imposed and has granted permission for
  the person to operate the employer's vehicle without the device only for
  business purposes. The person shall notify the court and  the  probation
  department of his or her intention to so operate the employer's vehicle.
  A  motor vehicle owned by a business entity which business entity is all
  or partly owned or controlled by  a  person  otherwise  subject  to  the
  provisions of this article or the penal law is not a motor vehicle owned
  by  the  employer  for  purposes  of  the  exemption  provided  in  this
  subdivision. The provisions of this subdivision shall apply only to  the
  operation of such vehicle in the scope of such employment.
    9.  Circumvention  of  interlock  device.  (a) No person whose driving
  privilege is restricted pursuant to this article or the penal law  shall
  request,  solicit  or  allow  any  other person to blow into an ignition
  interlock device, or to start a motor vehicle equipped with the  device,
  for  the  purpose of providing the person so restricted with an operable
  motor vehicle.
    (b) No person shall blow into an ignition interlock device or start  a
  motor  vehicle  equipped with the device for the purpose of providing an
  operable motor vehicle  to  a  person  whose  driving  privilege  is  so
  restricted.
    (c)  No  person  shall tamper with or circumvent an otherwise operable
  ignition interlock device.
    (d) No person subject to a court  ordered  ignition  interlock  device
  shall operate a motor vehicle without such device.
    (e)  In  addition to any other provisions of law, any person convicted
  of a violation of paragraph (a), (b), (c), or (d)  of  this  subdivision
  shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.
    10.  Warning  label.  The  department of health shall design a warning
  label which the manufacturer shall  affix  to  each  ignition  interlock
  device upon installation in the state. The label shall contain a warning
  that  any  person  tampering,  circumventing,  or otherwise misusing the
  device is guilty of a misdemeanor and may be subject to civil liability.
    * NB Repealed September 1, 2015

The Conditional License  

If you qualify for a conditional license or conditional driving privilege, you will be allowed to legally drive within certain limitations. A conditional license is not valid for driving a vehicle that requires the operator to hold a Commercial Driver License (CDL). Note: The limitations for using a conditional license, and the reasons for its revocation, also apply to conditional driving privileges issued to participants licensed in other states.


Where and when you can drive

A conditional license/driving privilege is not valid to operate a taxicab or a vehicle for which a Commercial Driver License (CDL) is required.

If you receive a conditional license or conditional driving privilege, you may drive ONLY under the following circumstances

  • to and from your place of employment
  • during the hours of employment if your job requires you to drive a motor vehicle
  • to and from a Motor Vehicle office to transact business regarding the conditional license or Drinking Driver Program (DDP)
  • to and from a class or activity that is an authorized part of the DDP
  • to and from a class or course at an accredited school, college or university, or at a state-approved institution of vocational or technical training in which you are enrolled - a conditional license/driving privilege CANNOT be used to drive to and from a high school
  • to and from probation activities ordered by the court
  • during an assigned period of three consecutive hours between 5 am and 9 pm once a week - the assigned period will not be changed unless this privilege is amended
  • to and from a medical appointment that is part of necessary treatment for you or a member of your household - you must carry a written statement from your licensed medical practitioner as evidence, and show it to any police officer who asks to see it
  • to and from a child’s school/day care if the child’s attendance at the school/day care is necessary for you to maintain employment or enrollment to an accredited school, college or university, or at a state-approved institution of vocational or technical training

Upon enrollment, a Conditional License/Driving Privilege Attachment (MV-2020) will be issued to you with the conditional license/privilege. This attachment specifically lists the permissible uses of your conditional license/privilege.  If you change your scheduled course or transfer to another program, the DDP will generate a Notice of Transfer or a Notice of Reschedule for you to carry with your MV-2020 Conditional License/Driving Privilege showing your new class information.  All other changes must be immediately brought to the attention of DMV.  To do this, complete a “Conditional License Privilege Attachment” (MV 2020) at a state or county motor vehicle office.

Conditional License Revocation

Your conditional license will be revoked if you are convicted of violating any conditions listed in “Where and When You May Drive” or of any moving violation, including those concerning cell phones, seat belts, or child safety seats or systems.

After the conditional license is revoked, you may continue to attend the DDP, but you must not drive under any circumstances. If you are over 21 years old and complete the program without additional convictions, your full license will be restored at the end of the program if you meet all other requirements. If you are under 21 and your conditional license is revoked, you must serve a one-year revocation even if you complete the DDP.

Your conditional license will also be revoked if you are convicted or found guilty of any additional alcohol or drug-related violation, or any other violation that usually results in license revocation. If your conditional license is revoked, you may continue to participate in the DDP without driving, but you will not be re-licensed immediately after you complete the program. The DMV will consider your re-licensing only after you have completed the DDP and have served any required revocation period.

If you are dropped from the DDP, your conditional license will be revoked. If this occurs, your original license suspension or revocation will be reinstated for its full length. To re-enter the DDP, you must obtain the consent of the DDP director.

 
The Drinking Driver Program (DDP) 

The Drinking Driver Program (DDP) is part of New York State’s effort to lessen the incidence of injury, disability, and fatality that results from alcohol and other drug related motor vehicle crashes, thereby reducing the risk of re-offense for an impaired driving offense.

Participants in the DDP will receive an in-depth education regarding high-risk alcohol and other drug choices to assist them in identifying and changing high-risk behaviors.  Multimedia presentations and guided discussion increase participants’ motivation to change behavior to protect what they value most in life.  Individual and group activities are completed using participant workbooks.  Participants also complete a preliminary screening designed to identify risk factors for a substance abuse disorder.  Individuals found to be at risk for a substance abuse disorder will be referred for a comprehensive clinical assessment and referral to treatment if warranted.

If you are licensed in another state or a province of Canada, see Out-of-State Options for DDP Entry.

Classroom Phase

As a DDP participant, you must attend all seven weekly classroom sessions.  Each session takes 2 to 3 hours for 16 hours total.  When you satisfactorily complete the classroom sessions, your involvement in the DDP will end, UNLESS the program refers you for formal evaluation and any resulting treatment.

Screening and Referral

DDP participants may be referred for a formal substance abuse evaluation by a NYS court, the Department of Probation or the DDP. DDP referrals can result from the results of a written self-inventory two or more alcohol or drug-related driving convictions within 25 years arrest for an alcohol or drug-related driving violation while enrolled in the DDP attending class under the influence of alcohol or drugs, a request by the student for help with a substance abuse problem, or an admission that the student is currently in treatment.

If you are referred for evaluation by a DDP, you must choose a provider approved by the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS).  You can find a list of approved providers at the OASAS website. If you are not satisfied with the results of the evaluation, you may ask the DDP director for a second evaluation.  However, you must accept the findings of the second evaluation.

After evaluation, you may be required to complete a formal substance abuse treatment program.  If you fail to complete required evaluation or treatment, you will be dropped from the DDP and your conditional license will be revoked.

In some instances you may be referred for assessment by a NYS court or probation office prior to enrolling in the DDP. If the assessment results in a determination that treatment is required, you must complete the treatment before the DDP will provide a completion certificate. It is important to understand that regardless of the referral source (DDP, NYS court or a probation office), if the assessment determines that treatment is required, you must complete the treatment in order to complete the DDP.

Completion

The DDP will provide you with a “Notice of Completion” when all program requirements have been met. This information will also be electronically transmitted to DMV. Depending on your license status and driving record, your license may be restored or you may become eligible to apply for a new license.  Your eligibility will be affected if 
you have two or more alcohol/drug related driving violations on your driving record
your conditional license is under revocation you were under 21 when the alcohol or drug-related driving violation occurred you refused an alcohol or drug test on the date of the violation you committed the alcohol or drug-related violation while operating a commercial motor vehicle.

Drops, Re-sentencing and Re-entry

You will be dropped from the DDP and lose your conditional license if you do not attend class, any required evaluation or treatment, or do not otherwise satisfactorily participate in the program, or do not pay the program fees.  If you are dropped from the DDP, you must obtain consent from the DDP director before re-entering. A re-entry fee of $50 is required, payable to the DDP. Drops reported to the DMV will result in the revocation of your conditional license/driving privilege.  Participants can only be re-issued a conditional license one time.

At the time of sentencing, the court may issue you a conditional discharge (CD) that requires DDP completion.  The DMV will notify the court if you do not enroll in the program, or are dropped from it. The court then may call you in for re-sentencing.

Program Fees

When you enroll in the Drinking Driver Program you must pay the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) a nonrefundable fee of $75.  Additional fees may apply. Cash, checks, credit cards, debit cards or money orders (made payable to the “Commissioner of Motor Vehicles”) are acceptable.

After enrollment, you also must pay a fee directly to the program that will conduct your DDP classes. The maximum DDP enrollment fee is $225, payable to the program you attend. Payment is expected when you attend the first class. There will be additional fees if you transfer to another DDP or apply to re-enter a program you have been dropped from.

During the DDP course, you may be referred to a NYS OASAS approved treatment provider for formal evaluation and, if necessary, treatment. If formal evaluation or treatment is needed, you will have to pay additional fees to the agency that provides those services.

Eligibility

Participation in the Drinking Driver Program is available on a voluntary basis if you have been convicted of an alcohol or drug related driving violation, unless you have participated in the program within the last 5 years, or have been convicted of another alcohol or drug violation within 5 years of the current alcohol or drug violation. However, these limitations do not restrict the ability of the court to mandate participation, even if you have already attended a Drinking Driver Program within the previous 5 years. In such situations, participation will be required, yet you will not be eligible for a conditional license or privilege.

Re-Licensing After Completion of the Drinking Driver Program

You may be eligible for full non-Commercial Driver License (non-CDL) driving privileges after you complete the DDP, all recommended formal evaluations, and any required treatment. Your Commercial Driver License (CDL) or commercial driving privileges will remain suspended or revoked until the end of the CDL suspension or revocation. After the end of the CDL suspension or revocation, you must go to a state or county motor vehicle office to apply for restoration of your CDL or commercial driving privileges.

Re-licensing after suspension

If your original license has been suspended, you must take these steps

  • complete the DDP
  • go to any state or county motor vehicle office to have your license restored
  • pay a suspension termination fee.
  • pay a driver civil penalty if your license was suspended for a violation of the Zero Tolerance Law.
  • pay any additional required license fees

Re-licensing after revocation

If your original license has been revoked, you must take these steps

  • complete the DDP
  • bring your conditional license to any state or county motor vehicle office
  • meet all DMV requirements and criteria for re-licensing
  • pay any required license fees

Please Note: Re-licensing after revocation is not automatic. For some revocations, you must first request and receive approval from the DMV Driver Improvement Unit (DIU) before you can apply for a new driver license at a DMV office.   

The DMV cannot consider your application for re-licensing until the end of the revocation period if you:

  • originally had refused a request for an alcohol or drug test
  • had committed the alcohol or drug-related violation while driving a commercial motor vehicle
  • were under 21 at the time of your arrest

However, if you complete the DDP and have a conditional license, you may continue driving in conditional status during the remainder of the revocation period.

 

The Impaired Driver Program - Alcohol & Drug Rehabilitation Program
The Drinking Driver Program (DDP) is now called the Impaired Driver Program (IDP).  As this new name is being implemented, you may see the two names interchangeably.
 

What happens if I am convicted of an alcohol or drug-related violation in New York State?

If you are convicted of an alcohol or drug-related driving violation, your license or privilege to drive in New York State will be revoked or suspended.  However, you may be eligible for a conditional license or a conditional driving privilege if you participate in New York State’s Impaired Driver Program (IDP) (previously known as Drinking Driving Program (DDP)) or an approved out-of-state program. 

Your “Order of Suspension or Revocation” from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will indicate a nearby state or county motor vehicle office where you may enroll in the Impaired Driver Program and apply for a conditional license/privilege, if applicable.

Your license suspension or revocation officially begins at your hearing or sentencing in court, unless the court gives you a “Continuation of Driving Privileges” (MV-1192). Your credit for serving the suspension or revocation begins on the effective date of the order.  If you receive a “continuation,” your suspension or revocation will begin 20 days after sentencing

It is a criminal offense to drive a motor vehicle while your license is suspended or revoked.  If you are convicted of driving under suspension or revocation, you may be fined and you may be sentenced to jail and/or probation.  In addition, the police may impound the vehicle you were driving when arrested.

If you are placed on probation because of this conviction, you also must bring written permission from the sentencing court, or your probation officer, that allows you to apply for a license.


Driver Responsibility Assessments

If you are convicted of Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI) or Driving While Ability Impaired by Drugs, or if you are found to have refused to submit to a chemical test, you will be required to pay a driver responsibility assessment each year for the next three years.  For more information, see Pay driver responsibility assessment. 

Participation in the Impaired Driver Program (IDP) will not prevent, reduce, or delay fines, fees, or penalties imposed under the driver responsibility assessment program.