If you get arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI) or driving while ability impaired (DWAI) by alcohol or drugs, you probably know that you are going to face a license suspension for those charges in addition to criminal consequences, like jail time and fines.
What you may not realize is that the loss of your license is basically automatic and that the circumstances of your arrest and charges will influence the length of the suspension you might have to endure. Familiarizing yourself with how New York handles someone’s license after an impaired-driving arrest can help you protect your license if you face charges.
You will face a temporary suspension at the time of your arraignment
An arraignment is a basic court hearing when a judge advises you of the charges against you. For people who get arrested for impaired driving, an arraignment typically happens within a few days.
Part of that process will involve the automatic suspension of your license until after your prosecution. If you successfully defeat the charges, at that point, you will theoretically be able to reinstate your license. A conviction or a guilty plea will have repercussions for your right to drive.
How long will the suspension likely last?
Multiple factors influence how long your suspension will be. The number of previous charges you have will matter. A first-time standard DWI or a drug-related DWAI carries up to six months of a suspension, while a DWAI involving alcohol could mean just 90 days of license suspension. A second DWI could mean losing your license for 12 months, and subsequent charges carry longer suspensions.
Your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at the time of your arrest also matters. Those who have a very high BAC of 0.15% or higher could face aggravated DWI charges with more serious penalties, including the loss of their license for a year.
Losing your license can complicate every aspect of your life. Mounting a defense against pending DWI or DWAI charges is one of the easiest ways to reduce the impact these charges will have on your life and minimize how long you will have to go without your license after your initial arrest.