New York DWI Consequences: Loss Of License, Ignition Interlock & House Arrest

The consequences of a New York DWI (driving while intoxicated) charge can include losing your license, having to use an ignition interlock system and being subject to house arrest. Our New York legal expert explains how these work and what a lawyer can do to help.

New York Criminal Defense Attorney Elliot Schlissel

Elliot Schlissel, a New York DWI lawyer whose practice represents individuals in Manhattan, Long Island and surrounding areas, explained when your license can be taken away from you after a DWI offense:

If convicted of a New York felony, your license can be suspended until such time as the probation department feels you are worthy of obtaining it again. I've seen this happen where people convicted of multiple crimes involving the use of alcohol and motor vehicles have had their licenses revoked. It can take years and all types of therapy to get your license back. You have to prove that you no longer have an alcohol problem before you can get your license back.

Alcoholism and drug abuse are diseases, Schlissel said. “Very often, the best way for lawyers to deal with individuals charged with these crimes is to put them into programs to deal with the underlying problem of the alcohol or drug abuse and show the court that this individual had a sickness, is dealing with the problem, seeks to become a better functioning member of society and avoid the use of alcohol or drugs in the future. This very often has an affirmative effect on the court and impacts on the sentence given out by the judge.”

New York Ignition interlock system

Another possible consequence of a New York drunk driving charge is an ignition interlock system. It can be authorized at any point in time by a judge, according to Schlissel, who says that the system is installed in your car and forces you to breathe into it every time you try to start the car. If the system picks up any alcohol or drug activity on your breath, then your car won’t start. The systems cost anywhere from $300 to $500 – and that cost comes out of your pocket.

House arrest

In some New York jurisdictions, they also have what's called house arrest. Schlissel says that in those situations, you have to stay at your residence and wear an ankle bracelet that acts as a locator device indicating your location to the authorities at all times.

When you've been arrested, it's important to know how New York's DWI laws work. If you're facing a such a charge, contact an experienced New York DWI attorney for a free evaluation of your situation. You may have more options than you realize.