Serious Driving Offense
Under the new regulations, a “serious driving offense” is defined as: a fatal crash; driving related penal law conviction; accumulation of 20 or more points assessed for driving violations within the last 25 years; or having two or more driving convictions each worth five points or higher.
If, during the lifetime review, there are three or four drug and/or alcohol related convictions, even if there are no serious driving offenses in the last 25 years, the DMV can either deny a reinstatement for 5 years beyond the original statutory revocation period (in the event the driver’s license was revoked for a drug or alcohol offenses) or 2 additional years (if the driver’s license was revoked for a reason other than an alcohol or drug related offense). Revocations related to misdemeanor charges which, in the past, had been for as little as six months can now be extended for five years. This is the same for felony charges, which would have caused a loss of a driver’s license for one year, can also be extended for a 5 year period.
Restricted Driver’s Licenses
After the driver has served the additional five year suspension of his or her driver’s license, the DMV can restore the license as a restricted driver’s license that would allow the driver’s ability to drive for such purposes as travel to and from work, school or doctor’s offices. This is similar to the “hardship license” that presently exists and and is currently granted by courts during the pendency of cases. In addition, the DMV can also impose conditions requiring interlock ignition devices for a 5 year period. Individuals who are convicted of a third drug or alcohol criminal offense, beyond the standard revocation for a minimum of six months on a misdemeanor and one year on a felony, are currently facing the potential lifetime revocation of their driver’s license, or at best, an additional five year period with no driving privileges. In addition to the five year suspension period, they may also face a five year period with ignition interlock requirements on their vehicles.