Most people have been taught that drinking and driving is a bad thing, but they may not know exactly why. Specifically, they may not be aware of all the potential consequences of a DWI conviction in New York. Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a monumentally stupid thing to do whether or not you face legal consequences, but it’s important to know about these five effects that a DWI conviction will have on you.
You Are Convicted of a Misdemeanor
A DWI in New York is a misdemeanor. That may not sound as bad as the felony charges that repeat offenders face, but it’s still a crime and it still gives you a criminal record. Even this “minor’ misdemeanor conviction could impact your ability to get certain jobs such as driving a taxi or a bus that require a clean driving record. If you’re a prospective college student, a criminal conviction of any kind could impact your chances of being accepted to certain colleges or receiving financial aid.
You Lose Driving Privileges
A DWI conviction in New York always results in the revocation of your driver’s license for six months. If you receive a Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI) conviction, your license can be suspended for 90 days. A DWAI is a traffic violation given to those who are under the legal BAC limit yet who are still impaired. Commercial drivers can have their commercial driving privileges suspended for one year, and an aggravated DWI (in which the driver has a BAC of .18 or higher) results in the minimum revocation of a New York State driver’s license for at least one year.
Higher Insurance Rates
When you are convicted of a DWI, that information goes to your insurance agency. This can lead to higher insurance premiums. A suspended license due to a DWI or DWAI conviction is just cause for an insurance company to cancel your policy. Your name can also be relegated to the New York Automobile Insurance Plan, a pool of high-risk drivers who cannot find an insurance company who will cover them. This is significantly more expensive than other insurance policies.
You Could Lose Your Professional Licenses
One New York DWI is a misdemeanor, but a repeat offense is a felony. If this happens to you, you could lose any professional licenses you may have. This includes attorney’s bar association licenses, medical licenses and broker’s licenses.
You Could be Banned from International Travel
Any alcohol-related offense could cause you to be banned from international travel. Canada in particular bars U.S. citizens from entering the country if they’ve been convicted of a misdemeanor. If you want to visit Canada with a misdemeanor on your record, you need to apply for a Minister’s Permit with the Canadian Consulate. This will allow you to make a short-term visit to the country. You won’t be able to stay in Canada for the long term with a misdemeanor or felony conviction for five years have passed from the date that your sentence was completed.
These are just some of the consequences that come with a New York DWI conviction. As you can see, they can severely impact your life in many ways. If you’re being charged with a DWI, get in touch with The Law Office of Mahmoud R. Rabah right away. Putting his courtroom experience to work, Mr. Rabah can help lessen the effects a DWI has on your record. Call Mr. Rabah today for your free consultation, and start fighting for your innocence.