Articles Posted in DWI A to Z

After a conviction or plea to a New York drunk driving offense, such as driving while intoxicated, driving while ability impaired, or aggravated DWI, one of the biggest concerns that clients have is the ability to maintain their driving privileges. In many cases, clients will be able to drive under certain circumstances after their drunk driving conviction. This limited license is known as a conditional license.

A conditional license allows you to drive to and from work, to and from school, to and from necessary medical treatment, and to and from treatment or programs that are required as part of your sentence with the Court, such as attending a MADD Victim’s impact panel or the drinking driver program. To get a conditional license, you must enroll in and complete the DDP (drinking driver program) a seven week class sponsored by the Department of Motor Vehicles (NYSDMV). If you have taken the DDP within the last five years, you are not eligible to attend the DDP and will not be able to obtain your conditional license.

It generally takes approximately 20 days from the sentence date in your criminal case until you can enroll in the DDP, due to the delay between the local Court forwarding your paperwork to the DMV to establish your eligibility for the DDP. For this reason, as long as you have not refused a breath test, the local judge at your attorney’s request will issue what is known as a “Twenty Day Stay” of the enforcement of your license revocation, and you will then be eligible to begin driving while awaiting your entry into the DDP and receipt of your conditional license. However, if you have refused a breath test, you are not eligible to get a 20 day stay and will have to wait to drive until you enter the DDP.

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We recently wrote a post about terms you will need to know when you are facing a New York DWI or other drunk driving charge. In this article, we will review some additional terminology that will be particularly important during the arraignment, negotiation, pleading and sentencing stages of your case. When you are arraigned on for either a DWI, DWAI, or DWAID (meaning when your attorney will enter a plea on your behalf), in most instances, the presiding judge will request that you have an evaluation conducted by TASC. TASC stands for “Treatment Alternatives To Street Crime”, and the purpose of this evaluation is to have a substance abuse counselor determine whether you have a drinking or drug abuse issue. If the determination is that you do not have a substance abuse problem, there will be a recommendation that no further evaluation or treatment is required. If the counselor believes there is an issue, as part of your sentence for the DWI, you will be required to attend substance abuse counseling for a period of time recommended by the TASC counselor.

As part of the sentence in many Westchester DWI cases, you will also be required to attend one session of what is known as the VIP panel, or Victim Impact Panel. This is a class run by MADD, (Mothers Against Drunk Driving), in which you will generally pay a fee of $75.00, and will hear stories from the families of those whose family members were injured or killed in accidents with drunk drivers.

At the conclusion of all New York DWI cases, in order to be permitted to obtain a conditional driver’s license, (which will be discussed in more detail in a separate post), you will be required to attend the DDP, or Drinking Driver Program, which is run by the Department of Motor Vehicles, will run seven weeks, and cost about $375.00. The DDP is a treatment, re-education and evaluation program which you must attend promptly, take very seriously and be prepared at any particular time to be tested to determine if you have been drinking that day, which would result in additional treatment.

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