According to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles a conviction that is alcohol-related or drug-related (for example, DWI or DWAI) remains on a driver record for exactly 10 years. If a driver is convicted of the same violation during those 10 years, the driver can receive additional penalties.
In New York there are several drug and alcohol related driving violations such as:
- DWI: Driving While Intoxicated; .08 BAC or higher or other evidence of intoxication.
- Aggravated DWI: Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated. 18 BAC or higher.
- DWAI/Alcohol: Driving While Ability Impaired (by alcohol); .05 BAC to .07 BAC, or other evidence of impairment.
- DWAI/Drug: Driving While Ability Impaired by a single Drug other than alcohol
- DWAI/Combination: Driving While Ability Impaired by a the Combined Influence or Drugs or Alcohol
Speaking of insurance, a policy can only be canceled in mid-term (after 60 days on a new policy) for a few specific reasons in New York but one reason is the suspension or revocation of a driver's license of the named insured or any other person who customarily operates an automobile insured under the policy (not including administrative suspensions). So if your driver's license is suspended for the DWI or DWAI then your insurance company could cancel your policy. If they will drop you will be determined by your insurance carrier's underwriting guidelines.
Even if your insurance is not cancelled it will go up by a decent amount due to the serious offense of a DWI or DWAI being on your NYS driving record by how much and for how long will depend upon the rating system of your insurance carrier. In general an insurance company will look back and rate on your driving record infractions for 3, 5 or 7 years.
The New York Department of Insurance, the insurance regulator for the state, notes that premium surcharges due to accidents or convictions are governed by the NYS Insurance Law and regulations, which allow surcharges to be applied during the experience period (typically three years) for specified incidents, some of which are:
- accidents involving bodily injury or death, or losses
to property in excess of $1,000, where the insured driver is at fault; or
- convictions for certain violations, including the following illustrations:
- speeding more than 15 MPH over the legal limit;
- driving while intoxicated or impaired by alcohol or drugs;
- operating a vehicle while attempting to avoid apprehension by a law enforcement officer;
- leaving the scene of an accident without reporting it;
- operating a vehicle in a race or speed test;
- driving without a license or knowingly permitting an unlicensed person to drive your vehicle; or
- filing a false insurance claim.
In general, no policy can be surcharged to a level where the premium exceeds more than three times the base premium for the highest rated vehicle covered by that policy (without the surcharge) according to NY laws. Please note that surcharges only apply to the premiums for Liability, No-Fault, and Collision coverages.
Your insurer must notify you of the exact dollar amount of any surcharges (and discounts) being applied to your policy as well as the dates of any accidents or convictions on which those surcharges are based. This information must be on, or attached to, your policy declarations page, which contains key identifying information about you and your policy. So likely the surcharge will be for 3 years, though you should speak to your insurance provider to find out for certain how long they will rate you on a DUI since they can see it on your motor vehicle record (MVR) for 10 years.
New York State does not require a SR-22 for reinstatement of your license or after a DUI. Not all states require a SR-22 and NYS is one of them. Delaware, Kentucky, Minnesota, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania do not require SR-22s. New York and North Carolina also do not require SR-22 filings, and most companies do not offer out-of-state SR-22 filings for policies in these states while they will for the first list of states.
You can shop around for New York car insurance prices here with CarInsurance.com if you have a DUI on your driving record and need to comparison shop for lower rates.