ROCHESTER, N.Y. – The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles wants to make it easier for so-called high-risk drivers to lose their licenses.
The proposed changes are in response to Gov. Kathy Hochul’s State of the State address in which she proposed stricter penalties for unsafe drivers.
They could affect all of us – especially people who have been convicted of driving under the influence, who could be at risk of permanently losing their licenses.
The first proposal would impose points for violations like being caught driving without a license, speeding in a work zone, leaving the scene of an accident where someone gets hurt, or hitting a bridge.
Right now, if you get 11 points in 18 months, your license could be suspended. The DMV wants to expand that to 24 months.
The DMV also wants to change the point system it uses to evaluate whether a repeat reckless driver should get relicensed.
Currently, if you have five more drug or alcohol driving convictions, you can’t renew your license. The DMV wants to lower that to four.
Local attorney Ed Fiandach, who represents many people charged with Driving While Intoxicated, explains how that would impact drivers with three convictions.
“What they have done up to this point in time, if you have three DWIs within a 25-year period, you can’t be relicensed for five years. However, if you have three DWIs plus 20 points or two 5-point violations, you fall into a permanent category,” he said.
That means you lose your license for good.
Fiandach says he changes are “patently unfair” and punish a driver for mistakes they may have made years earlier.
“I mean, at my age, if I have 20 points, that doesn’t mean I’m an unsafe driver. But at your age, if you have 20 points, yeah, maybe you are an unsafe driver. I think there’s an age discrimination factor in this that really hasn’t been looked at,” he said.
Before these changes can happen, the DMV is accepting public comment through Nov. 6th. Click here to learn more.
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