Drinking Driver Program

All motorists convicted of DWAI or DWI in New York State are required to attend the Drinking Driver Program (also known as the DDP) at the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (NYS DMV) if they wish to obtain a conditional license during the period of time their driver’s license is suspended.

The DDP is also required if the driver wishes to be reinstated to full unrestricted driving privileges after completing his sentence.

After being convicted of a driving while intoxicated related offense a driver must report to the NYS DMV.

Because the criminal court typically mails a driver’s conviction from court to the DMV a person should wait at least two days before attempting to enroll in the DDP at the NYS DMV following their Driving While Intoxicated conviction.

The Drinking Driver Program consists of seven classes which contain a minimum of fifteen hours of course time.

The fee for the DDP is $225 plus a $75 enrollment fee. In addition, if a driver’s license was already suspended he must pay a $50 suspension termination fee before his license will be reinstated.

Following a driver’s successful completion of the Drinking Driver Program a notice of a completion will be sent by the Court which convicted the driver to the DMV.

Upon receipt of the notice of completion of the Drinking Driver Program, a driver is then eligible for full reinstatement of his or her New York State driving privileges except in limited circumstances (such as where the driver refused to take a chemical test or breathalyzer).

If you have been convicted of any DWI related charge in the prior five years you are not eligible to take the DDP or, more importantly, for a conditional license or driver’s privilege.

The five year period runs from the date of the completion of a defendant’s completion of the Drinking Driver Program to the date of the commission of a driver’s next violation of the DWI related offense.

Enrollment in the DDP school allows a driver to obtain a conditional license only to drive to and from:

  1. School; or
  2. Medical; or
  3. Employment; or
  4. Enrollment and attendance at drug and alcohol related classes.

A driver who has refused to take a chemical test or breathalyzer may take the DDP. However, a driver who has refused to take a chemical test or breathalyzer is not eligible for full reinstatement of the their driver’s license until after the one year DWI refusal period expires.

A driver whose conviction is later overturned or vacated by a court of competent jurisdiction may enroll in the DDP within a subsequent five year period. The reversal of their DWI conviction voids the effect of his prior participation in the NYS DDP program.

Following a driving while intoxicated related conviction a driver’s New York State driver’s licence will be suspended or revoked immediately.

However, an experienced DWI lawyer will ask for a twenty (20) day stay of the driver’s suspension or revocation. The twenty (20) day stay of the driver’s license suspension or revocation must be asked for immediately following the sentencing.

The purpose of the twenty (20) day stay is to allow a defendant who is eligible for both the DDP and for a conditional or restricted use license to drive for the period of time between which the court mails the suspension to the Department of Motor Vehicles and the DMV inputs the driver’s conviction and DDP into its computer.

The twenty (20) day stay does not restore a defendant’s driving privileges. Rather, the twenty (20) day stay simply stays the start of the suspension and revocation related to a driving while intoxicated conviction.

If you need to speak to an attorney regarding the Drinking Driving Program, please contact Stewart A. McMillan immediately at (914) 358-4326 or on his 24 hour cell phone at (917) 538-5016 or e-mail him at samcmillan@mcmplaw.com.

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