Some lessons are harder to learn than others, especially where alcohol is involved, and far too often, we read about people with multiple drunk driving convictions that continue to drink and drive. Habitual drunk driving offenders are definitely a concern across the country, which is why so many states have a “three strike” felony conviction for drunk drivers. New York, however, doesn’t let it get quite so far. In New York, on your second DWI conviction, you have a lot more to worry about than just higher fines and a longer license suspension… you’ve got a felony on your hands.
A felony DWI in New York is a serious matter. You will have your license suspended for at least a year and a minimum 6-month ignition interlock requirement once you complete your suspension period. You could face up to four years in jail, high fines and substance abuse treatment. Plus, as a felon, your freedom to vote, get a passport or own a firearm may be in jeopardy. All for choosing to drive while intoxicated, again.
New York is one of several states that really cracks down on habitual DWI offenders, as seen with the all-offender ignition interlock requirement and subsequent DWI penalties. Considering that once you’ve had a drunk driving conviction in New York, you’ve already had a taste of what could happen if you make the same mistake in the future. The freedoms you risk, and the lives that could be tragically affected by your actions are more important than driving yourself home after a night of drinking. Take your first DWI lesson to heart, and make changes in your life before you have to face your actions, again, in front of a judge and in front of those who trust you to make the right choice your second time around.