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Proposed bill could increase penalties for DWI in New York

The penalties for driving while intoxicated can be very harsh in New York. A DWI conviction can mean jail time, huge fines, increased insurance premiums and a stain on a person's criminal record. But as bad as these consequences already may be for drivers, they could be getting worse.

According to a recent bill proposed by Governor Andrew Cuomo, repeat drunk drivers would lose their license forever after a third DWI offense. Currently, these drivers could still lose their license after three DWI convictions, but it is not automatic and there is a complicated process in place to determine if a person will have their license permanently revoked. But the proposed bill would make lifetime license revocation mandatory after a person gets a third DWI. Three strikes and a driver would be out.

Not having a driver's license can be, at the very least, a serious inconvenience for many people. Without driving privileges, it can be nearly impossible for a person to get to work, pick up the kids from school, go grocery shopping and get to important appointments. At first, it may not seem that bad to find alternate ways to get around. But a lifetime license revocation could be devastating. 

Instead of facing the possibility of this and other harsh consequences of DWI, people who are accused of drunk driving in New York can work to defend themselves against charges to avoid a conviction. With the help of an attorney, the arrest, test results and police procedures can be scrutinized and challenged in order to protect a person's rights and minimize exposure to potential penalties. Even if a person has made multiple mistakes over the years and has been arrested for DWI before, it is important to remember that everyone has the right to defend themselves. 

Source: Brooklyn Daily Eagle, "GOP lawmakers like Cuomo's 'three strikes, you're out' DWI crackdown," Paula Katinas, Jan. 10, 2014

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