There is never a good time to drink and drive, and fewer people see those actions as a harmless crime than ever, especially those who lost a loved one due to a drunk driver. Despite falling statistics, drinking and driving still takes up the time and resources of law enforcement and the court system, a problem that makes more taxpayers foot the bill for alcohol-induced choices. While interventions like ignition interlock devices are finding success in reducing rates of drunk driving after a DWI conviction, there are still people who continue to drink and drive up until that day in court.
In New York, however, you don’t have any time drink and drive again. The moment you are charged with a DWI or DWAI in New York, you will have your license suspended. The “Prompt Suspension” law does not remove your ability to drive entirely, as you will be allowed 10 days to drive if you plan to challenge the DWI charge in court so that you can be prepared to face a judge. If you do not challenge the DWI charge or you lose that challenge, your license will be suspended on the 11th day, after which you will have to face the full extent of your DWI conviction requirements, including installing an ignition interlock device.
Once you have satisfied the court’s requirements for your DWI and you have installed an ignition interlock device, your ability to legally drive will be restored. Any DWI offender in New York is required to install and maintain an ignition interlock device in exchange for a restricted driver’s license that allows “necessary” driving to and from court-approved destinations.
Even with the success of an ignition interlock device in keeping drunk drivers off the road, the best solution is to never attempt to drive after consuming alcohol. Each moment you are sober behind the wheel is just one less chance at losing your ability to drive for any length of time, and it keeps us all from bearing the burden of your choice to drink and drive.