DUIs, Your Rights, & Conditional Licenses

There’s no shortage of poor advice on how to beat a DUI. A cursory internet search will generate everything from putting pennies in your mouth to beating a breathalyzer to explaining why refusing to take one is in your best long-term interests. New York has stringent DUI laws, and the penalties for a conviction can be severe. Regardless, everyone should have an understanding of what their rights are before they are pulled over. 

Knowing Your Rights

When you are pulled over for a DUI, it is crucial that you know and assert your right to protect yourself. However, very few people know what they are due to conflicting answers among the internet and your friends. First, you should remain calm (try box breathing) and pull over safely. Though that may seem obvious, it aligns with the idea that you should continue to be police and cooperate with law enforcement. Remember, cooperation differs from self-incrimination, and we do not advocate for the latter. 

For example, you have the right to remain silent, meaning you must answer questions about whether you have been drinking. In this scenario, cooperation equates to informing the police officer politely that you choose not to answer the question. Important tip: You also have the right to refuse the field sobriety test without legal consequences. Another important tip: Refusing the breathalyzer results in an automatic license suspension, and unlike the field sobriety test, it is not optional. In New York, the police must ask you to take it three times before it counts as a refusal. 

Conditional Licenses & Ignition Interlock Devices

The consequences for those charged and convicted in New York include suspending their license and installing an ignition interlock device (IID). Anyone convicted of a DUI past 2009 will have an IID in their car. It is a prerequisite for regaining your driving privileges. A DUI charge causes a lot of anxiety, and many people are concerned about losing their license because they need it for work. Losing income can be catastrophic. New York does offer conditional licenses to some people, which allow limited driving privileges to essential places. 

  • To and from work 
  • You can drive during working hours if your job requires it
  • To and from the DMV
  • To and from the Impaired Driving Program (This is a required class known as the IDP. It was previously called the Drinking Driver Program or the DDP.)
  • To and from an accredited school, college, or university (high schools do not count)
  • To and from any probation activities that the court ordered
  • You can also drive for three consecutive hours between 5 am and 9 pm. However, this time period will be assigned to you. 
  • To and from medical appointments for you or another household member 
  • To and from daycare if you need it so you can work or attend school

Andrea L. Gamalski, Attorney & Counselor at Law
Although you may be under intense stress when you get pulled over, remember that you are not in this alone. When you have been charged with a DUI, it is essential to obtain legal counsel promptly. We will guide you through the legal components of the process, protect your rights, and work toward minimizing the impact of the charges. Staying informed and having a legal representative can make a substantial difference in your DUI case. Protect your future by contacting our office to set up a free phone consultation.

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Andrea L. Gamalski Attorneys at Law

Andrea L. Gamalski understands how important it is to have a compassionate and empathetic family law attorney who fights hard for their clients in the courtroom–mainly because she’s been one of these clients herself.

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