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I've been charged with drunk driving, what happens to my license?

Most people rely extensively on their vehicle and their driving privileges for all aspects of their day-to-day life. From getting to work everyday to grocery shopping, running errands and shuttling kids around being able to drive is an important part of our lives. However, if you are arrested and charged with a drunk driving offense, this could lead to serious consequences including suspension of your driver's license. So, if you are facing drunk driving charges, what exactly does happen to your license?

The short answer to this question is: it depends. Drunk driving laws and penalties vary widely from state to state. In New York State the impact of a drunk driving charge, usually referred to as a DWI, on your license differs depending on a number of factors; these factors include things like your age, the substance of impairment - whether drugs, alcohol or both, what type of license you have, whether you've faced such charges before, and whether you submitted to a chemical test.

For instance, if you are over 21 years old and you are charged with a DWI for alcohol and this is your first offense, you may lose your license for 90 days; if it is your second offense you may lose your license for at least 6 months. If you are charged with a DWI for drugs these license penalties will increase for both first and subsequent offenses. If you refuse to submit to a chemical test your license may be revoked for at least a year. It may be possible to qualify for a conditional license depending on the facts and circumstances of your case.

In addition to the various, potentially lengthy, license penalties for a DWI charge, you may also be facing expensive fines and even jail time. It is essential to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can assist with your DWI defense and help you to understand and mitigate any loss of license penalties.

Source: DMV.org, DUI & DWI in New York, accessed February 13, 2018.

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