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DWI Defense Articles

What is a Hardship Privilege?

by Seth Azria on 6/10/2019

Limited License to Drive to Work, School, Doctor while DWI is Pending

A hardship privilege gives a person charged with DWI limited driving privileges while the case is pending. This is important because a DWI charge, as opposed to a conviction, with a Blood Alcohol Content of .08 or more will typically cause the court to suspend your license.  This suspension typically occurs at your arraignment, or initial appearance in court.

Issued to Prevent Extreme Hardship

Although the court is required to suspend your license while your DWI case is pending, we can protect your privilege to drive to work, school, and medical appointments for yourself and any household member if you would suffer an "extreme hardship" due to the suspension. A hardship privilege is discretionary for a suspension based on a BAC of .08 or more, and if the court bases the suspension pending a refusal hearing or a prior conviction within 5 years then there is no eligibility for hardship privilege. 

It is vital that you contact a legal professional experienced in assisting people during this process to ensure the privilege is protected. One of the first steps we take at Azria & Bruffett are to ensure your ability to drive; call us now and let us protect your rights.

New York Law Establishing Hardship Privilege 

New York Vehicle and Traffic Law ยง1193(2)(e)(7) deals with driving license suspension while the DWI case is pending.  The law is often referred to as the "Prompt Suspension Law."  That section states:

(7) Suspension pending prosecution; excessive blood alcohol content. a. Except as provided in clause a-1 of this subparagraph, a court shall suspend a driver's license, pending prosecution, of any person charged with a violation of subdivision two, two-a, three or four-a of section eleven hundred ninety-two of this article who, at the time of arrest, is alleged to have had .08 of one percent or more by weight of alcohol in such driver's blood as shown by chemical analysis of blood, breath, urine or saliva, made pursuant to subdivision two or three of section eleven hundred ninety-four of this article.

Need help with a DWI charge?

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