NYS DWI Report - An Exploratory Examination

CGR undertook an objective, exploratory assessment of Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) legislation and Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) regulations and their implementation in New York State. We examined how new regulations issued by the DMV in 2012, which expand the grounds for administrative license suspension and revocation, fit with the twin goals of enhancing public safety and rehabilitating offenders, and how well they complement parallel processes in the criminal justice system. Our research concluded that the legal authority for the DMV’s regulations is well-established and the use of license suspension and revocation to reduce DWI-related hazards is well-grounded in decades of research. When employed consistently and judiciously, these policies improve public safety. However, this research has revealed a consistent set of concerns about the execution of the policy and its implications for justice and fairness. These include that those accused but not yet tried might encounter incentives to plead guilty when they otherwise would not, and that those facing license suspension or revocation often have seemingly insurmountable obstacles to obtaining hardship waivers, even though provisions for these were explicitly included in the law.

Report Date: Jan 2020
Author(s): Donald Pryor , Kieran Bezila
Subject(s): Public Safety , Criminal Justice
Location: New York State

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