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Suspension or revocation of license sometimes mandatory

March 5, 2011

Last week we discussed the point system in New York State. Today, we review the situations that require suspension or revocation of your license. Examples of revocations or suspensions and their length of suspension that are required by law:

1) Alcohol and Drug Violations

Aggravated DWI, with 0.18 percent blood alcohol content (BAC) - minimum one year

DWI, with 0.08 percent BAC - minimum of 6 months

Driving while ability impaired by alcohol (DWAI)?- 90-day suspension

Driving while ability impaired by drugs?- minimum six-month suspension

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs out-of-state - 90 days to 6 months

2) Chemical Test Refusal

If you refuse to take a chemical test and are age 21 or over - minimum one year

If within five years of a prior refusal?- minimum 18 month suspension

If you are under age 21 and its your first time?- minimum one year revocation

If you are under 21 and it's your second time - revocation until age 21 or one year, whichever is longer

Zero Tolerance test refusal - minimum one year (Under "Zero Tolerance Law", a driver under 21 will have his/her license suspended for six months if found to have a BAC from 0.02 to 0.07. Refusal to take a chemical test will result in a one year suspension.)

3) Speeding and Other Violations Your license will be revoked for at least six months if you are found guilty of:

4) No insurance

Your license will be revoked for at least one year if you operate or allow another person to operate your uninsured vehicle, or if the Dept. of Motor Vehicles receives evidence that you were involved in a traffic crash without being insured.

Remember, a license to drive a motor vehicle is a privilege, not a right. That privilege can easily be taken away from you - don't let that happen. Obey the laws and drive safely.

For more articles on vehicle and traffic law and traffic safety, visit the Traffic Safety Board's website,

Dave Werner can be reached at



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