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When Can the DMV Suspend or Revoke Your Driver’s License in New York?

Most people who lose their driver’s license equate it with losing their freedom. They must ask other people for rides to work, school and even the grocery store. They feel stuck in their homes or married to bus and train schedules.

Driver’s license suspension and revocation can have a long-term impact on your livelihood. That is why it is important to understand when your license can be suspended and fight any charges that could lead to a suspended driver’s license, from speeding to vehicular homicide.

Suspension vs. Revocation

While often used interchangeably, driver’s license suspension and revocation are two different things. If your license is suspended, the New York Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will take away your driving privileges for a certain amount of time, but the only action you need to take at the end of the suspension is to pay a suspension termination fee.

If, however, your license is revoked, the DMV voids your driving privileges entirely and you must reapply for your license at the end of the revocation period. The DMV can refuse to accept your application if you do not meet its requirements or have a bad driving record.

License Revocation for DWI

The revocation periods for DWI convictions include:

  • Driving while intoxicated (.08 percent blood alcohol concentration): Six-month revocation
  • Multiple DWIs in 10 years: One-year revocation
  • Underage DWI: One-year revocation
  • Multiple underage DWIs: Revocation until the driver reaches 21 years old or at least one year
  • Refusal to take Breathalyzer test: One-year revocation

License Suspension and Revocations for DWAI

The DMV will also suspend or revoke your license if you are convicted of DWAI as follows:

  • Driving while ability impaired by alcohol (DWAI): 90-day suspension
  • Driving while ability impaired by drugs (DWAI-Drug): Six month suspension
  • Aggravated driving while intoxicated (.18 BAC or higher or DWI with a child less than 15 years old in car): One-year revocation
  • Multiple DWAIs in five years: Six-month revocation

License Suspension After Injury-Causing Accidents

If a driver commits homicide, assault or criminal negligence with a car, he or she can face license revocation for at least six months. Leaving the scene of a fatal or injury-causing accident has the same effect.

Other Traffic Violations That Can Lead to License Revocation/Suspension

Your license may also be suspended or revoked if you are convicted of the following charges:

  • False statement on a license application: Six- to 12-month revocation
  • Speeding contest: Six- to 12-month revocation
  • Three speeding or other misdemeanor traffic violations in 18 months: Six-month revocation
  • Operating a vehicle without insurance: One-year revocation
  • Driving with a revoked or suspended license/aggravated unlicensed operation (AUO): There are mandatory fines and prison times for AUO in addition to license revocation.

License Suspension for Traffic Points

Your license may also be suspended or revoked for 31 days if you receive more than 11 traffic violation points on your record in 18 months. For example, if you receive one speeding ticket for going 25 mph over the speed limit (6 points), one ticket for going 5 mph over the speed limit (3 points) and one ticket for failure to yield the right of way (3 points), your license could be suspended for one month.

This is a list of the ways your license can be suspended for traffic violations. Of course, your license can be suspended in other ways, such as for failure to pay child support and certain criminal charges. No matter what causes your license suspension or revocation, an experienced defense lawyer can help you fight your charges (in criminal or traffic court) and the license suspension (in a hearing with the DMV). Your freedom depends upon it.

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