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Application for Relicensing

If you are a repeat offender for driving while intoxicated, it is particularly important that you hire an experienced DWI attorney to assist you. The DMV regulatory rules changed in September of 2012. Now those rules are harsher that the rules imposed by the court as far as any restriction on the driver's license.

Your attorney will need to obtain your lifetime driving record to give you the best advice if you are a repeat offender. Call Rochelle Berliner if you are facing a second or subsequent DWI or another type of serious driving offense for a free evaluation.

Queens Lawyer for Relicensing Application

The Law Office of Rochelle S. Berliner represents clients charged with DWI and other serious driving offenses throughout all five boroughs of New York with offices located in Forest Hills on Queens Boulevard. Call 718-261-5600 today for a free consultation.

Overview of Relicensing Application

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Limitations on the DMV

By enacting or interpreting new regulations the DMV cannot do any of the following:

  1. act arbitrarily and capriciously in denying a relicensure application;
  2. act without a rational basis for the administrative action; 
  3. act in violation of the Ex Post Facto Clause of the United States Constitution (Article 1 § 10, cl 1); or
  4. act on regulations that are in conflict with Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1193[2][b][12].

Despite these limitations, effective September 25, 2012, the DMV enacted harsh new regulations included a revision to 15 NYCRR § 136.5[b] which provided as follows: 

Upon receipt of a person's application for relicensing, the Commissioner shall conduct a lifetime review of such person's driving record. If the record review shows that:

(1) the person has five or more alcohol- or drug-related driving convictions or incidents in any combination within his or her lifetime, then the Commissioner shall deny the application.

(2) the person has three or four alcohol- or drug-related driving convictions or incidents in any combination within the 25 years preceding the date of the revocable offense and, in addition, has one or more serious driving offenses within the 25 years preceding the date of the revocable offense, then the Commissioner shall deny the application.

The previous rule required that when a person applied for relicensing after revocation, the applicant's driving record for the ten years prior to the date of the application was reviewed by the Driver Improvement Unit (DIU).

If the driver had two or more alcohol related incidents in the ten year look back period, then he or she would be assessed an extended waiting period of six months for each incident. 

Starting in February of 2011, Part 136 of 15 NYCRR was amended in an attempt to strengthen the DMV's ability to deny relicensing. Thereafter, the DMV concluded that the issue of problem drivers was still not resolve, on September 25, 2012, the DMV filed a Notice of Emergency Adoption and Proposed Rule Making regarding 15 NYCRR Parts 3, 134 and 136.

All pending applications were reviewed based on the criteria set forth in amended Part 136. In effect, all pending applications were delayed until the new regulations took effect.

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Effect of the New Regulations for Relicensing

Under the emergency regulations, the Driver Improvement Unit (DIU) must conduct a lifetime review of the applicant's driving record as required by 15 NYCRR § 136.5[b]. If the applicant has certain alcohol-related convictions he or she will be subject to sanctions as follows:

  • If the applicant has five or more alcohol-related convictions or incidents on his driving record, relicensing will be permanently denied under 15 NYCRR § 136.5[b][1];
  • If the applicant has three or four alcohol or related conditions within the past 25 years, and has a serious driving offense, he can be permanently denied a license; or
  • If the applicant has three or four alcohol related convictions in the past 25 years (15 NYCRR § 136.5[b][2] ), without a serious driving offense, the applicant's license will be revoked for a period of five years, in addition to the statutory minimum revocation period (15 NYCRR § 136.5[b][3] ) after which he may be issued a Class D permit or license with a problem driver restriction.

After a permanent revocation, a person can apply to respondent DMV, after the expiration of five or eight years, for a waiver in the interest of public safety and welfare (Vehicle and Traffic Law §§ 1193 [2][b][12][b][ii] and [e][iii]; 15 NYCRR § 136.10[b] ).

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Definitions of Terms in New Regulations

15 NYCRR § 132.1(b) provides the definition of "Dangerous repeat alcohol or drug offender" to mean:

  • any driver who, within his or her lifetime, has [5] or more alcohol- or drug-related driving convictions or incidents in any combination; or
  • any driver who, during the 25 year look back period, has [3] or [4] alcohol- or drug-related driving convictions or incidents in any combination and, in addition, has [1] or more serious driving offenses during the 25 year look back period.

15 NYCRR §§ 132.1(a) & 136.5(a)(1) provide the definition of "Alcohol- or drug-related driving conviction or incident" to mean any of the following, not arising out of the same incident:

  • a conviction of a violation of VTL §1192 (or any out-of-state conviction for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs);
  • a finding of a violation of VTL § 1192-a (DWI Per Se .08);
  • a conviction of a Penal Law offense for which a violation of VTL § 1192 is an essential element; or
  • a finding of a refusal to submit to a chemical test pursuant to VTL § 1194.

15 NYCRR §§ 132.1(c) & 136.5(a)(2)(iii) provide the definition of "High-point driving violation" to mean any violation for which 5 or more points are assessed on a person's driving record.

15 NYCRR §§ 132.1(d) & 136.5(a)(2) provide the definition of "Serious driving offense" to mean any of the following, within the 25-year look-back period:

  • a fatal accident;
  • 20 or more total points from any violations;
  • conviction of 2 or more high-point driving violations; or
  • a driving-related Penal Law conviction (requires the offense have an essential element of operation of a motor vehicle).

15 NYCRR §§ 132.1(e), 136.1(b)(3) & 136.5(a)(3) provides that the "25-year look-back period" means prior to and including, the date of the revocable offense. 

15 NYCRR § 136.5(a)(4) provides that "Revocable offense" means the violation, incident or accident that results in the revocation of a person's driver's license and which is the basis of the application for relicensure.

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Additional Resources

Penalties for DWI Multiple Offenders - Visit the official New York DMV website to learn more about the penalties for multiple offenders. Learn about the new regulations that took effect on September 25, 2012. Those reglations make it more difficult for drivers with multiple alcohol or drugged driving related convictions or incidents to get their license back.

New York won't relicense repeat drunken drivers - Read this article from Fox News published on September 26, 2012. New York officials issued regulations Tuesday to prevent persistent drunken drivers from getting their licenses back. The changes are expected to affect an estimated 20,000 drivers this year.

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Finding an Attorney in Queens for DWI Repeat Offenders

If you are a repeat offender and charged with DWI or another serious driving offense then contact New York criminal defense lawyer Rochelle Berliner to discuss your case. You must consider not only the punishment imposed by the court but also the regulatory restrictions on your ability to obtain to apply for relicensure after revocation.

Law Office of Rochelle S. Berliner can review your case and help you understand all of your legal options. Call 718-261-5600 or submti an online form to schedule a free, confidential consultation today.

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Rochelle Berliner
Rochelle Berliner

Rochelle Berliner grew up in Queens, NY. She started New York Law School in January 1989 and graduated in June 1991. Immediately after law school, she started working at the New York County District Attorney’s Office, where she stayed for approximately 14 years...

  • National Police Accountability Project
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws
  • New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
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