20 day Stay
Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated
Driver Responsibility Assessment
DRC Weekends/DWI Weekends
In Monroe County, sentencing for an alcohol-related conviction often includes the DWI Weekend Program, which is also known as Day Reporting Center or DRC Weekends. This program is considered an education opportunity for DWI Offenders. The current cost of the program is $80 per weekend and must be paid at the start of each weekend. Attendance is required Friday night from 6:00PM to 8:00PM and Saturday and
Sunday from 9:00AM to 4:00PM. You will be screened for alcohol on arrival and will also have to provide a urine sample once during the weekend to test for amphetamines, cannabis, cocaine, and morphine. If appropriate, you will be referred to a treatment program, if appropriate. You must pre-register by calling 585-454-7350.
Driving While Ability Impaired by DrugsDriving While Ability Impaired by Drugs, for a first offense, is an unclassified misdemeanor. If you are suspected of driving while being under the influence of drugs, an officer who is a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) will be called to perform Standardized Field Sobriety Tests and you will be asked to submit a blood sample. If you are found guilty, penalties include up to 364 days in jail, three years’ probation, 6 months revocation of your driver’s license, completion of the Impaired Driver Program, and a maximum fine and surcharge of $1,400.
If this is the driver’s second violation within ten years of an alcohol/drug-related misdemeanor or felony offense, the charge rises to a Class E Felony. The penalties increase to up to four years in prison, five years’ probation, 18-month license revocation, completion of the Impaired Driver Program (if eligible), and a maximum fine and surcharge of $5,520.
If this is the driver’s third violation within ten years of an alcohol/drug-related misdemeanor or felony offense, the charge rises to a Class D Felony. Penalties increase to up to seven years in prison, five years’ probation, and a maximum fine and surcharge of $10,520. At this point, you will potentially be facing driving penalties for multiple offenders that would be imposed directly by the Department of Motor Vehicles.
Driving While Intoxicated
In New York State, there are two separate Driving While Intoxicated Charges, which carry the same penalties. The first is Driving with .08 of One Percent or More of Alcohol and, as suggested, requires that the driver’s BAC (blood alcohol content) allegedly be .08% or higher. The second is Driving While Intoxicated, which falls under Common Law, and does not require a BAC. If you refuse a breath test but fail the standardized field sobriety tests and the officer suspects you have been driving while intoxicated, you will be charged under Common Law. Additionally, the latter charge often is issued in conjunction with the first.
If this is the driver’s first offense, this is an unclassified misdemeanor and penalties include up to 364 days in jail, three years’ probation, 6-month revocation of your driver’s license, installation of an ignition interlock device, completion of the Impaired Driver Program and a maximum fine and surcharge of $1,400.
If this is the driver’s second violation within ten years of an alcohol/drug-related misdemeanor or felony offense, the charge rises to a Class E Felony. The penalties increase to up to four years in prison, five years’ probation, 18-month license revocation, completion of the Impaired Driver Program (if eligible), installation of an ignition interlock device, and a maximum fine and surcharge of $5,520.
If this is the driver’s third violation within ten years of an alcohol/drug-related misdemeanor or felony offense, the charge rises to a Class D Felony. Penalties increase to up to seven years in prison, five years’ probation, installation of an ignition interlock device, and a maximum fine and surcharge of $10,520. At this point, you will potentially be facing driving penalties for multiple offenders that would be imposed directly by the Department of Motor Vehicles.
Effects of a Felony Criminal Conviction
As a result of a felony conviction, you have lost certain rights that are normally guaranteed to American citizens. The effects on your rights as a result of this conviction are as follows: you will be unable to vote in any state or federal election until you have served your jail sentence and term of probation, after which your voting rights will be automatically reinstated; you will be unable to join the armed forces; you will be unable to serve on either a state or federal jury; you will not be able to own a firearm, or obtain a firearm license such as a conceal and carry, or a pistol permit; lastly aside for the ramifications on your New York driver’s license (which are explained in detail below), any other type of state license you apply for may be denied when there is a direct relationship between the type of felony conviction (in your case DWI) and the type of license sought, so, for example, you will not be able to get a New York State Liquor License. Please be further advised that if you are charged with another offense under VTL § 1192 in the next 10 years, you will be subject to enhanced charges and penalties.
This seems like a rather long list of things you can no longer do, or be eligible for. However, there is a mechanism in New York which, if granted, will give you back a number of the rights listed above. This mechanism is called a Certificate of Relief from Disabilities. The Certificate will allow you to be eligible once again for licenses and employment positions that you could not have received or been considered for because of your conviction; it will also allow you to own a firearm again.
The Certificate is granted by the court which sentenced you. In order to have the best possible chance of the Judge granting your request for a Certificate, you must first successfully complete your jail sentence and/or term of probation. One last note on the Certificate, should it be granted for you, it will not have any effect on the restrictions and revocation of your driving privileges. At the time you finish your jail sentence and term of probation, should you wish to file for a Certificate of Relief from Disabilities, please do not hesitate to contact our office.
Effects of a Misdemeanor Criminal ConvictionIn New York, a misdemeanor is considered a crime. Therefore any criminal history background check will reflect this conviction. This may affect your ability to find new employment and if you are ever asked on an application whether or not you have a criminal history the honest answer is “yes”. There may be other consequences of a criminal conviction on your life moving forward, but it is impossible to say for sure what these would be at this time. Fortunately, recent New York legislation allows someone to be eligible with one felony and one misdemeanor or two misdemeanors to have their convictions sealed after ten
years. Please contact our law firm ten years post-conviction to help you with the process to get your conviction sealed.
Ignition Interlock Device
Every DWI conviction in New York State requires the installation of an ignition interlock device in any vehicle that is titled or registered in the defendant’s name for the full period of their conditional discharge or probation. Generally, you are required to install the Ignition Interlock Device within 10 days of sentencing.
Installation of an ignition interlock device requires that you blow into the device before your car will start. Any detection of alcohol will be recorded. Avoid consuming any alcohol, including mouthwash, before attempting to blow into this device. It is also important to note that any attempt to circumvent the device is a crime for both you and the person who attempted to blow into the device.
New York law also requires that anyone mandated to install an ignition interlock device be financially responsible for its installation and maintenance. The approximate cost of the device is $150 to install and $100 per month thereafter. If a driver cannot afford this cost, we can work with the Court pre-sentencing to ask for either a reduction or waiver of the fees. It will be the Court’s decision whether any reduction or waiver is granted.
A recent change in the legislation mandating the ignition interlock device allows for us to petition the court for early removal of the device after six (6) months of the physical installation. This only applies if there is a misdemeanor conditional discharge sentence and if the negotiated offer has not prevented the defendant from using this provision. Additionally, certain courts will not grant the petition for early removal.
At the end of your time with an ignition interlock device, you will not be allowed to remove the device until you have received permission to do so until the sentencing court or your device monitor or probation officer has issued you a letter or certificate stating you completed the requirement. Once you have received this notice of completion, it should be sent to your device manufacturer so the device can be removed and the original letter needs to be taken to the DMV so that the ignition interlock restriction can be lifted from your driver’s record.
Impaired Driver Program/Conditional License
Impaired Driver Program and Conditional LicenseThe Impaired Driver Program (IDP) is ordered at sentencing and is a seven-week course that meets once per week for approximately two to three hours per session. It costs approximately $225. You may be referred for an alcohol and/or substance abuse evaluation through IDP but as long as you provide proof that you completed an evaluation and any recommended treatment program, you should have already satisfied this requirement.
While you are in the IDP and during your license suspension, you should be eligible to hold a post-conviction conditional license. This license costs $75 plus tax. If this is your first alcohol-related conviction, it is possible that you can have the suspension end at the time you complete the IDP. Ask the IDP instructor about this possibility when you are done with the program.
For additional information in regard to the IDP and conditional license, you can visit the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles website at https://dmv.ny.gov/tickets/impaired-driver-program-alcohol-drug-rehabilitation-program
Intermittent Jail Sentence – Weekends in Jail
To get an intermittent sentence, an individual will usually have to demonstrate that they are employed or have other significant responsibilities that make serving a regular jail sentence very hard.
Suspension vs. Revocation
License Suspension vs. License RevocationA suspension is when your driving privilege is taken away from you for a certain period of time. In the case of a Driving While Ability Impaired, first offense, your license will be suspended for 90 days. You cannot drive until your suspension ends and you pay the termination fee unless you have been granted a conditional license. At the end of your suspension, you must pay a suspension termination fee of $50 to restore your driver’s license.
A revocation means that your license has been canceled and you must get a new one when your revocation period ends. You will be sentenced to revocation on any alcohol-related offense that is a misdemeanor or felony; however, the time of that revocation is dependent on a number of factors including the charge you were convicted of and if you had any priors. When the revocation period is over, you must request approval from the DMV for a new license as it will not automatically be reinstated. Please visit https://dmv.ny.gov/tickets/how-request-restoration-after-driver-license-revocation for specific steps to take when applying for approval for a new license. The fee to terminate the revocation reapply for a license is $100.
Please keep in mind that it is a crime punishable by jail time each time that you operate a motor vehicle in New York State while the suspension or revocation is still on your record.
Penalties for Multiple Offenders
Points on Your License
Many traffic infraction convictions result in points on your license. We recommend taking the Defensive Driving Class which “removes” four (4) points every 18 months from your license that count towards a license revocation. You can take it online and the link is provided below. This will help you if you are charged in the future with any moving violations.
Probation supervision involves regular contact with a probation officer, drug/alcohol testing, compliance with all laws, home visits and searches, time on an ignition interlock device, no ownership of guns or dangerous weapons, and no leaving the county where you reside without permission from probation. In court, you will have signed the terms and conditions of probation and you should keep a copy of these conditions with you. Please be sure to comply with these rules. If you fail to abide by any of the rules, you can be brought back to Court and re-sentenced up to time in jail. If you are on your best behavior throughout your sentence, your probation officer could petition the Court to release you from your sentence early.
Probation also controls how and when you get your license back. They will also control the installation and monitoring of the ignition interlock device in any vehicle you either own or operate.
Refusal and DMV
Refusal to Take a Breath Test and the DMV Refusal HearingIf you refuse to take the Breathalyzer/Datamaster test at the police station, you will almost immediately be taken in front of a judge to be arraigned on the charges and have your license taken away. You will not be eligible for any driving privileges during this time. The judge will also schedule a refusal hearing that will take place at your regional Department of Motor Vehicles in front of an Administrative Law Judge.
At the DMV Refusal Hearing, the arresting officer testifies and must demonstrate that they had reasonable grounds to believe that you were operating a motor vehicle in violation of the DWI statute; they made a lawful arrest; they read the DMV DWI Refusal Warnings, and the defendant refused to submit to either a breath or blood test. If the officer fails to demonstrate any one of those things, you will most likely win your refusal hearing and get your license back. If you lose the hearing, your license will be revoked for a one year period from the date of your refusal hearing.
Shock probation acts as a split sentence of jail time and probation. You will be required to report to jail on the date-time as sentenced by the judge.
Probation supervision involves regular contact with a probation officer, drug/alcohol testing, compliance with all laws, home visits and searches, time on an ignition interlock device, no ownership of guns or dangerous weapons, staying in the county where you reside unless granted permission to leave, and possible continued alcohol and substance abuse treatment. Probation is a tough program, but it is the only way to minimize jail time. If you are on your best behavior throughout your sentence, your probation officer could petition the Court to release you from your sentence early. However, should you violate the terms of your probation you could be sentenced to insert max time in prison.
Bear in mind that Probation will control how and when you get your license back. They will also control the installation and monitoring of the ignition interlock device in any vehicle you either own or operate.
Victim Impact Panel
The Victim Impact Panel also referred to as “VIP”, is your opportunity to hear from people whose lives have been affected by DWI. In almost every county in New York State the VIP is imposed as a sanction in alcohol-related driving convictions. In some courts, the judge will order you to attend a VIP at a specific time and location. In other courts, you may just be given a specific period of time in which you must attend a VIP. For additional information on the New York State Victim Impact Panel or to find a VIP in your county, please visit the following site: https://stopdwi.org/resources-victim-impact-panel
If you reside out of New York State, the courts may allow you to attend a different Victim Impact Panel sponsored by Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Please note, you must have permission from the court to attend an out-of-state Victim Impact Panels. For more information, please visit MADD at https://maddvip.org/.
Zero Tolerance Law