Friday, October 25, 2013

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: Going to the NYS DMV and Getting a Conditional License

I love our little, friendly, and easy Ithaca DMV!

Yesterday I went to the DMV with one of my clients. I have counseled, guided, and written about New York conditional license privileges for years and yet being there, applying, and going through the process with my client taught me a lot. Read on to learn from my experience, and maybe be more prepared for yours.

Having Lots of Experiences 

You know it is said that "the map is not the territory." This year I went through a DWI arrest, start to finish, handcuffs and all. Nothing like feeling the back of a squad car. It isn't like on TV or in a movie. I am 5' 6" and it was so tight back there, OMG! The seat is made of hard plastic, no cushioning, for all body fluids, drugs, and whatever. I also went through another two breath test machine certifications. I discovered once again how really hard it is to blow into those machines properly to register anything. Low and slow works. The best part of those events was the drinking in the later part of the seminar, of course to then test the machines for accuracy.

It's all about EXPERIENCE

Nothing can take the place of experiencing something. This works with anything. My wife is a nurse, I like to call her the vein whisperer, as in she is the "go to" girl at her medical center. For hard patients with tough to find veins, she finds em. She has had these younger nurses pass through her place for training. These young nurses arrive feeling ready and knowledgeable until they start to try to set up IVs on real patients BUT talking about and reading about and learning about giving an IV (intravenous) ain't the same as doing hundreds of them well. They soon discover it is art and science combined. With experience comes confidence, real confidence, not fake it till you make it confidence.

This is NOT the Ithaca, NY DMV,
looks like one of my Florida experiences (nightmares)

The Ithaca DMV is best Tuesday through Thursday

So back to the DMV office. It was a great day to be there, the Ithaca DMV on 3rd street (near the bowling alley) is real busy on Mondays and Fridays with lines out the door but mid week it is a ghost town. This was a DWI (misdemeanor) refusal case that I got reduced to a DWAI (violation) but they had an out-of-state license. Remember because of their refusal to take a chemical test (of their breath) all they were going to have for one year was conditional driving privileges in New York State. In  this instance (this other state) their own DMV was doing nothing to affect their driving privileges. So in their situation they had 49 states of full privileges and NYS partial privileges.

So to get any NYS privileges they needed to do a few things:

1. Get a certified copy from their home state DMV.

You may want to look into this early in your DWI adventure. Some states only issue these from the capital or main DMV office and only by snail mail. It may take awhile to get a "certified" (signed, stamped, sealed) copy of your driving record. The NYS DMV wants a fairly recent abstract (can't be too old) to prove your home license is valid with no suspensions or restrictions. This step will be unnecessary if you have a NYS driver's license.

2. Pay New York DRA (Driver Responsibility Assessment) for that year.

Every NYS DW has a three year $250/year assessment which must be paid before you can sign up for DDP (drinking driver program) and get a conditional license. They want your money first, then you can move forward.

3. Fill out their special conditional license form.

You can put down their school location, work location, and select a three hour discretionary driving time period one day of the week. This part was kinda like an interview with the DMV person. They ask you when you want to begin the DDP classes, usually there are a few options of days, and dates.


Additionally you have permission (privileges) to all doctors i.e. medical providers for you and/or loved ones. These can be driven to without writing down their names and addresses on this form. You should just keep proof with you of the appointments if stopped by the police. You would have to give the police a reason to stop you in the first place.

The only glich in our DMV journey was that my client lost her original Court license paperwork. Thank G-d they accepted my copy. For better or worse they know me at this little hometown DMV.

Lawrence (Larry) Newman, D.C., J.D.

Originally, born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. My father was a NYS corrections officer, and my mother a waitress. I now live in Ithaca, NY with my wife (of 25 years), and four kids. I have a B.S. in Human Biology, Doctorates in Law and Chiropractic, and a Post Graduate in Acupuncture. I practiced as a Chiropractic Physician in Florida from 1986 to 1995. I graduated law school in 1997, and went on to practice trial law in FL, NY, NJ, and PA. I love practicing criminal defense and injury law within the Finger Lakes Region of New York State.

Over 90% of the cases that I take on are New York DWI defense cases. I am certified as a breath tester by the Department of Transportation, the guidelines of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). I am certified in Field Sobriety Tests, and an active member of the National College of DUI Defense (NCDD). My online materials include over 450 blog posts, dozens of articles, and over 435 informative videos on my youtube channel.

I have co-authored Strategies for Defending DWI Cases in New York, in both 2011 and 2013. These are West Thomson legal manuals on New York State DWI defense, and focus on the best practices for other lawyers handling a New York DWI case. Included in Strategies for Defending DWI Cases in New York are materials I provide clients, such as my fee agreement and ways to avoid misdemeanor probation. I was selected by Super Lawyers as a Upstate New York 2013 Rising Star in DWI/DUI Defense based on my experience, contributions, and professional standing.