Can I Get My License Back After a DWI? (in NY)

New York State driver license in wallet

Driving under the influence (DUI) is one of the leading causes of road accident fatalities in the United States. The misdemeanor carries hefty penalties, including suspension of your driver’s license. Of course, your license can also be suspended if you commit other road traffic rules violations, but they often carry less suspension time compared to driving while intoxicated (DWI). 

So, what happens after your license has been suspended? Can you ever get it reinstated? Absolutely! You will get your license reinstated after your suspension period elapses. However, driving license reinstatement is not automatic, as you must dully complete a reinstatement process. 


How to reinstate your driving license after a DWI suspension 

Serve your suspension period 

There are no shortcuts to reinstating your suspended driving license. You have to wait until your suspension period elapses. A one-year suspension might seem too harsh, but do not be tempted to drive without your license during this period, as that might aggravate your charges. 


Complete your jail sentence 

In most cases, a driving license suspension may be coupled with a jail term. You must complete your sentence before applying for a driver’s license reinstatement. If the penalty was converted into an alternative program that permits freedom of movement, you must get legal documentation attached to your application for reinstatement. 


Attend your DWI traffic school lessons 

DWI convicts must attend DWI driving lessons to help rehabilitate them back into the system. This would apply to all DWI cases, even if it were a one-time first-time offense.  

There are different DWI driving lessons, and the court will determine how long your program should last, depending on the nature of your case. Typically, the classes can last between three months to 30 months. Once completed, your school will hand you a Notice of Completion, which you will present during the application for reinstatement. 


Fulfill all sentencing conditions 

DWI penalties often come with dozens of conditions specified by the court. For instance, some may require complete drug treatment, including spending time at a rehabilitation facility. In other cases, you may enroll in a deterrence program, such as installing an interlock device on your vehicle. These terms must be met before you can be reinstated into the traffic system. 

However, if you are on a probation sentence that lasts longer than your driving license suspension, the law allows you to apply for reinstatement as you continue serving your probation. 


Charged With DWI in New York? 

Norman Mattar is available to take your call 24/7. If you have been charged with a DWI in New York State, give him a call at (716) 633-4300. 

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