Saturday, August 16, 2014

When Can You Take the New York DMV DDP (Drinking Driver Program) ?

I was in court yesterday, and again was surprised by the comment of a seasoned judge. A seasoned judge is not one who likes paprika but one who has been on the bench for at least a couple of years.

When Can You Take the DDP?

The judge asked my client whether he had taken the DDP (drinking driver program) yet? He had gotten a drug/alcohol evaluation. It had come back with a DDP and VIP (victim impact panel) recommendation ie. NO treatment necessary. I had previously secured a plea deal (with the DA) to a reduction to DWAI (driving while ability impaired) contingent (conditioned) upon a number of factors. One of the factors being the evaluation (aka the assessment), and anything recommended by that certified OASAS evaluator.

But First, YOU Gotta Have a Trigger

New York state has what I like to call "triggering" events. Certain things (procedurally) have to happen before other things can happen. In other words, you can't put the cart before the horse.

Sometimes You have to follow an order of sorts
The trigger for the DDP is a DW conviction.

Any DW conviction under VTL 1192 (DWAI, DWI .08, DWI common law, aggravated DWI, DWAI drugs, DWAI drugs plus alcohol) will set into motion the necessary prerequisite to then go get two things:

- Post Revocation Conditional License
- DDP (drinking driver program) sign up

Any DW conviction is usually after sentencing. The conviction is then logged onto (or into) the main computer. It goes into the system, and then off to the Albany, DMV which then allows the next step:

Signing up for the DDP at any local DMV office around the state.

As a disclaimer, remember if you have multiple DWs, or have two DWs within 5 years, or are placed on probation, or ____ you may not be allowed to take the DDP. The above is the most common case for a first time DW conviction in NYS.

Always consult with an attorney about any criminal or non-criminal charges you have pending to discuss your options and/or defenses.

I am certified in Field Sobriety and Breath Alcohol Testing, and an active member of the National College of DUI Defense (NCDD). My online materials include over 500 blog posts, dozens of articles, and over 500 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. 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.