What is the Impaired Driver Program?

If your New York State driver’s license has been suspended or revoked due to a drug or alcohol-related driving violation, the DMV may issue you a conditional license so that you can do the necessary things in your life that require you to be able to drive. However, there are certain requirements that you must meet in order to get and keep a conditional license, including participating in the Impaired Driver Program (IDP). In order to prepare yourself for enrolling in the IDP, you should know what the program requires, what you must do to complete it, and what the penalties are for not finishing.

What can I do with a conditional license?

A conditional license allows you to drive to a limited number of places, including:
  • To and from work
  • To and from school
  • To and from probation
  • To and from the DMV
  • To and from doctor’s appointments
  • To and from your child’s school or daycare
  • To and from the Impaired Driver Program
In order to be eligible for a conditional license, you must attend an Impaired Driver Program approved by the DMV.

The Impaired Driver Program

The Impaired Driver Program (IDP), previously known as the Drinking Driving Program, is in-depth alcohol and drug education that helps people identify and change and high-risk behaviors in which they engage. The instruction is given in the forms of multimedia presentations, discussions, and workbook exercises. You must also go through a preliminary screening to identify any risk factors that may indicate a substance abuse disorder. If you are found to be at risk, you will be referred for clinical assessment.
 To maintain your conditional license, you must attend all seven classes of the Impaired Driver Program for a total of 16 hours. Once the classes are over, your enrollment in the program ends unless you are referred for formal evaluation and treatment. This referral can be made by the state court, the Department of Probation, or by the IDP. IDP referrals can stem from a number of different factors, such as:
  • The results of your written self-assessment
  • If you have two or more alcohol or drug-related driving convictions within 10 years
  • If you were arrested for an alcohol or drug-related driving violation while enrolled in the IDP
  • If you ever attended class under the influence
  • If you ask for help with a substance abuse problem or are already in treatment
If you are referred for evaluation and potential treatment, you must choose a provider who is preapproved by the Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS). If you are unhappy with the results of your evaluation you are allowed to ask for a second one, but you must accept the results of the second one if you choose to have it. In the event that you do not complete your required evaluation or treatment, you will be dropped from the Impaired Driver Program and your conditional license will be revoked. You may also be referred by the court or Department of Probation before you enroll in the IDP. If your assessment determines that treatment will be required, you must complete your treatment before the IDP will issue you a completion certificate.

Completing the program

Once you have met all of the program requirements, the Impaired Driver Program will issue you a Notice of Completion. The completion information will also be submitted electronically to the DMV. Once this has happened, depending on your license status and your driving record, you may be eligible to apply for a new driver’s license. Your eligibility for this may be affected if:
  • You have two or more alcohol or drug-related driving violations on your record
  • Your conditional license has been revoked
  • You were under 21 when your alcohol or drug-related driving violation occurred
  • You refused an alcohol or drug test on the date of your violation
  • You committed your violation while operating a commercial vehicle
If you do not satisfactorily complete the required components of the Impaired Driver Program, you will be dropped from the course and lose your conditional license. If you are dropped, you must get consent from the director of the program to re-enter. The re-entry fee is $50. Your conditional license can be reissued, but it can only be reissued once.
Unless you have participated in the Impaired Driver Program within the past five years or you have been convicted of another alcohol or drug-related violation within five years of your current violation, participation in the program is voluntary for those convicted of an alcohol or drug-related violation. These limitations, however, do not prevent the court from being able to mandate that you participate in the program.

What to do

If you have been charged with DWI and are concerned about your license being revoked or suspended, call the law offices of Lipsitz Green Scime Cambria. Our DWI attorneys know your rights and will be able to find the weaknesses in the charges against you. Call today to find out the potential penalties you may be facing and what your rights are going forward.
This article does not purport to give legal advice and is for informational purposes only.