Serious traffic offenses or a pattern of multiple traffic violations can have significant consequences for drivers, including the suspension or revocation of their driver’s license.
License suspension or revocation is not a trivial matter. It can disrupt one’s daily routine, limit personal mobility, and pose various challenges in professional and personal spheres. The inability to drive legally can affect employment opportunities, hinder educational pursuits, and limit social interactions. Additionally, license suspension or revocation may result in increased insurance premiums, impoundment of vehicles, and potential legal consequences if driving privileges are violated.
Understanding the grounds for license suspension or revocation is crucial for all drivers in New York. This blog aims to shed light on the legal and technical reasons that can lead to such penalties and the process for restoring driving privileges.
Overview of Driver’s License Suspension and Revocation
When discussing driver’s license suspension or revocation, we are talking about the temporary or permanent loss of the privilege to drive.
When someone’s license is suspended, their driving privilege is temporarily taken away for a certain period. This can be a result of serious traffic offenses or accumulating a certain number of points on their driving record.
Suspension can be for a specific duration, with a set end date, or it can be indefinite, meaning there is no predetermined timeframe for its conclusion.
In the case of an indefinite suspension, certain conditions or requirements must be met before a person can regain their driving privileges. These conditions may include completing a driver improvement course, paying fines, or fulfilling other obligations mandated by the authorities.
On the other hand, driver’s license revocation carries more severe implications. When someone’s license is revoked, it means that their driving privileges are entirely canceled.
Revocation is usually a consequence of grave offenses or repeated violations that indicate a significant disregard for traffic laws. In the case of revocation, the individual must re-apply for a new driver’s license once the revocation period is over. This process often involves meeting specific criteria, such as passing written and practical driving tests and fulfilling any additional requirements imposed.
Understanding this difference is crucial for drivers in New York, as it helps them grasp the severity of potential penalties and take necessary precautions to avoid behaviors that could lead to license suspension or revocation.
Actions Leading to Driver’s License Suspension or Revocation
Accumulation of Points
New York’s driver violation point system allows points to be assessed on a person’s driver’s license for some violations. Accumulating a certain number of points within a specified time can result in the suspension of driving privileges.
Below is a breakdown of points that can be assigned to various offenses:
- Speeding: 3–11 points (depending on the rate above the speed limit)
- Reckless driving: 5 points
- Improper cell phone use: 3 points
- Failure to yield the right-of-way: 3 points
- Running a red light: 3 points
- Failure to signal: 2 points
Certain violations, such as parking infractions and unregistered or uninsured operation, do not result in the accumulation of points.
If a driver accumulates 11 points on their driving record within an 18-month period, it can lead to the suspension of their driver’s license.
Suspension/Revocation for Specific Offenses
Certain traffic violations can automatically lead to driver’s license suspension or revocation.
Two such offenses are driving while intoxicated (DWI) and driving while ability impaired by alcohol or drugs. In New York, a person found to have been driving with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or higher can be charged with DWI and face a 6-month driver’s license revocation.
If the individual’s BAC is 0.05% or more but less than 0.07% or their driving behavior suggests impairment, they could be charged with DWAI and face a 90-day driver’s license suspension.
Another offense that can result in license revocation is driving without insurance. In New York, maintaining auto insurance is a legal requirement for registering and operating a vehicle. Failing to have at least the minimum liability coverage can lead to driver’s license revocation for up to 1 year.
Reinstating a Suspended or Revoked Driver’s License
Restoring driving privileges requires fulling certain obligations and meeting specific criteria. One of the primary requirements for a suspended license is paying a suspension termination fee.
For a revoked license, the reinstatement process involves applying for a new driver’s license. This typically entails requesting approval from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to proceed with the application. Depending on the situation, the individual may also have to take a written and driving test to demonstrate their knowledge and competency.
Additionally, the individual may have to pay an application fee. Other penalties, such as a driver civil penalty, may also need to be satisfied.
Get Help from a Lawyer
Facing a driver's license suspension or revocation or dealing with a ticket that could potentially lead to adverse actions against your driving privileges, can be challenging. However, it's important to remember that you have options and avenues to contest these actions and protect your driving privileges.
If you are in a situation where you believe that your license suspension or revocation is unjustified, or you want to fight a ticket to avoid negative consequences, seek the assistance of an attorney knowledgeable in traffic law. They can provide valuable guidance and support throughout the process, helping you understand your rights, assessing the validity of the suspension or ticket, and exploring potential legal strategies to challenge adverse actions.