New York motorists who are repeat DUI offenders might have their licenses permanently revoked. On May 9, the state's top court ruled that the state's DMV policy does not conflict with existing state law.
According to the regulation, people with at least five convictions related to driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in their lifetime or someone with a serious driving offense and three convictions for alcohol or drug-related driving offenses in the past 25 years could not have their license reinstated. Since 2012, over 13,600 applications for reinstatement have been denied.
Three people who were repeat offenders had filed the lawsuit. They had argued that the policy, which began in 2012 during the administration of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, was improperly applied and overreached. However, the state court of appeals issued a unanimous 5-0 ruling. In the ruling, a judge wrote that the law was reasonable and fell within the DMV's area of expertise.
As this case demonstrates, a conviction for drunk driving can have a serious long term effect on people's lives. For example, people who are struggling with an addiction might accumulate several charges over just a few years and then be unable to drive even if they overcome it. Therefore, a person who is facing DUI charges might want to talk to an attorney about whether it is possible to get them dismissed or reduced. Charges could be dismissed if law enforcement violated the person's rights at any point. It is possible that a Breathalyzer could be improperly administered, or people might even have a reaction to a medication that makes them appear as though they are under the influence.