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Court upholds lifetime suspension for multiple DWI offenders

New Yorkers who are arrested for on DWI charges are keenly aware of the potential consequences that go along with a conviction. However, they might not realize just how severe and life-changing the punishments can be. If there is an accident, it might be understood that the punishments are harsh, but even those who are arrested for DWI and do not have an accident will now have to be concerned about a lifetime suspension of their driving privileges.

The Court of Appeals in the state issued a 5-0 ruling to keep in place the new rules in which repeat offenders can have their driver’s license suspended for life. This applies to the “worst” offenders. The judge who authored the ruling wrote that the court declines to change the initial decision made by the commissioner of the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles to penalize repeat DWI offenses.

These rules were put into place by Governor Andrew Cuomo five years ago to place a harsher series of penalties on those who are repeat offenders. These rules call for an automatic denial of an application to reinstate a driver’s license if there have been five convictions for driving offenses due to alcohol or drugs in life of the applicant three convictions in 25 years. Since 2012, more than 13,600 applications were denied due to this law.

In addition to jail time and fines, the penalty of losing one’s driving privileges for the rest of his or her life is significant. There could be a litany of reasons why a person was judged to have been impaired when he or she really was not. It is possible that the investigating officer violated protocol when the traffic stop and tests were given. There are many ways to defend DWI offenses or to perhaps have the charges reduced. Regardless of the situation, losing one’s driver’s license forever should be avoided by lodging the strongest defense possible. Planning a defense with assistance from a qualified attorney experienced in drunk driving cases is key.

Source: Democrat and Chronicle, “Lifetime bans upheld for repeat DWI convicts,” Jon Campbell, May 9, 2017

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James L. Riotto
Criminal Defense Lawyer

James L. Riotto is an accomplished criminal defense attorney serving clients in New York. With an extensive background in law enforcement and criminal prosecution, his approach to each case is unique and informed by years of experience with the New York criminal justice system. As a graduate from Albany Law School and before going on to start his own practice, James worked at the Albany County District Attorney's Office, where he helped prosecute many DWI offenses. His inside knowledge of the tactics used to gain convictions provides him with a particular advantage when defending against DUI and other criminal charges.

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