Will You Be Required to Complete an Alcohol Evaluation if Arrested for DWI?

May 17, 2016

In NY it’s mandatory (VTL 1198-a) that anyone arrested for a violation of VTL 1192 (alcohol and drug related driving offenses) complete, at a minimum, an alcohol and substance abuse screening. Whether you will be required to do more than that depends on what category you fall into below.

  1. 1198-a.2(a) – Mandatory Screening (an initial intake to determine if counseling/treatment is necessary):
  1. A screening will be ordered by the court if you are arraigned upon or have pleaded guilty to any of the following offenses as first offense AND you are alleged to have a blood alcohol content(BAC) of less than 0.15:

(i)            DWAI (1192.1), or

(ii)          per se DWI (1192.2), or

(iii)         common law DWI (1192.3), or

(iv)         Leandra’s Law violation (1192.2-a(b))

  1. OR if you are arraigned upon or have pleaded guilty to a violation of DWAI-Drugs (1192.4);
  1. OR if you refused the chemical test.
  1. 1198-a.2(b) – Mandatory Assessment (more formal interview that will likely result in continued counseling/treatment):
  1. You will be required to complete an assessment if:

(i)            the screening required by subsection 1198-a.2(a) above indicates possible alcohol or substance abuse; or

(ii)          upon your arraignment or guilty plea to a second or subsequent offense within 5 yearsof

  1. DWAI (1192.1), or
  2. per se DWI (1192.2), or
  3. common law DWI (1192.3),
  4. or DWAI-Drugs (1192.4), or
  5. Zero Tolerance violation (1192.4-a);
  1. OR if you have been convicted within the previous 5 years of:

(i)            any violation of VTL 1192, or

(ii)          Vehicular Assault in the 1st or 2nd degree, or

(iii)         Aggravated Vehicular Assault, or

(iv)         Vehicular Manslaughter in the 1st or 2nd degree, or

(v)          Aggravated Vehicular Homicide;

  1. OR if you have been convicted two or more times within the previous 10 years of:

(i)            any violation of VTL 1192, or

(ii)          Vehicular Assault in the 1st or 2nd degree, or

(iii)         Aggravated Vehicular Assault, or

(iv)         Vehicular Manslaughter in the 1st or 2nd degree, or

(v)          Aggravated Vehicular Homicide;

  1. OR of you are arraigned upon or have pleaded guilty to a DWI related offense and have a BAC of .15 or higher.
  1. Article 21 School/Drunk or Impaired Driver Program (DDP)

You will also be required to participate in an alcohol or substance abuse assessment in order to successfully complete the DDP, which is typically a condition of any sentence for an alcohol or drug related driving offense. Often times the screening or assessment required by VTL 1198-a will satisfy the DDP requirement and save you significant time in completing the process. However, some local courts are still unaware of or simply do not enforce the requirements of VTL 1198-a; it is therefore incumbent upon your DWI defense attorney to advise you of this requirement and hopefully save you time in resolving you DWI case and restoring your license.