New York officials proposed new regulations that will prevent chronic drunk driving offenders from re-licensing. The Department of Motor Vehicles will review the lifetime records of drivers who are seeking reinstatement of their license after a conviction. They will deny anyone who has five or more alcohol or drug related driving convictions or incidents on their record. The new regulations also define dangerous repeat alcohol or drug offenders as one who has three or four alcohol or drug related driving convictions or incidents in the previous 25 years in addition to one other serious driving offense. A serious driving offense includes a fatal crash, a driving-related penal law conviction, an accumulation of 20 or more points on the driving record in the past 25 years, or having two or more driving convictions worth five points or higher. If these factors are met, then any application will be denied for reinstatement.
If a driver has three or four alcohol or drug related convictions and they do not have a serious conviction on their record in the last 25 years, then the DMV will deny their application for license reinstatement for five years.
DMV Commissioner Barbara Fiala said, “Each year, more than 300 people are killed and more than 6,000 injured on New York highways as a direct result of alcohol-related crashes. More than 25 percent of those crashes involved a driver who had three or more drunk driving convictions.” In New York, drivers whose licenses had been suspended for drunk driving could reinstate their driving privileges only 6 months to 1 year after completing a 7 month education program. New York’s law allowed even multiple alcohol or drug related driving offenders to keep their licenses after a period of revocation. The new regulations will no longer allow this. The advocacy group Mothers Against Drunk Driving have commented on the Cuomo administration’s crack down on repeat offenders, saying that they believe the administration has not gone far enough to toughen laws for first and second time offenders. New York’s new driver’s license regulations will require:
- The DMV to review the lifetime record of all drivers who are applying to have their license reinstated after revocation.
- The DMV to deny applications for reinstatement of a license after revocation if the driver has five or more alcohol or drug related driving convictions in their lifetime, or if they have 3 or more alcohol or drug related driving convictions in the past 25 years in addition to another serious driving offense during the last 25 years. Serious driving offenses include causing a fatal crash, driving-related penal law convictions, or accruing 20 or more points for driving violations within the last 25 years.
- Those whose licenses have been revoked due to an alcohol-related offense will be required to use an interlock device on their vehicle for five years.