Handcuffs, Keys and a Glass of Liquor

What is a DWI Hardship Privilege?

A Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) arrest can have several negative consequences, including the suspension of one’s license. However, when such a suspension prevents a defendant from meeting certain obligations, he or she may be eligible for a DWI hardship privilege. If you’ve recently been arrested for DWI, please review the information below and contact a New York criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to discuss your case.

Contact Us

What Is A DWI Hardship Privilege?

Following an arrest for DWI in New York, a defendant may be eligible for a hardship privilege. In order to receive such a privilege, a defendant must demonstrate to the court that he or she is experiencing extreme hardship in searching for alternative methods of travel to and from work, school, or required appointments. When determining whether to grant a DWI hardship privilege, the court examines the following factors:

  • Whether the defendant has access to public transportation
  • Whether public transportation is expensive or overly burdensome
  • Whether fare for taxis or other ride-sharing services is too expensive
  • Whether the defendant has a family member or other acquaintance available to provide transportation


After a defendant surrenders his or her license at arraignment, his or her criminal defense attorney may request a hardship privilege. Following such a request, the judge will either order a formal hearing to determine whether the privilege is warranted, or the judge will ask the defendant’s attorney to make an oral application for the privilege. When an oral application is presented, the judge accepts the attorney’s representation as to what the testimony and evidence would demonstrate were a hearing to be held. At a hearing, however, the defendant testifies about the circumstances of his or her alleged hardship. Common evidence at hardship hearings includes:

  • A document that contains the defendant’s home address
  • A document that contains the defendant’s work address
  • Proof of the defendant’s salary
  • Pricing information for taxis or other ride-sharing services
  • Pricing information for bus travel
  • Pricing information for train travel

In addition to the above information, a defendant at a hardship hearing may need to demonstrate that he or she is unable to carpool with a co-worker or other individual. Also, a defendant must prove that he or she has no friends or family members who are able to provide transportation.

Contact Our New York Criminal Defense Attorneys

If you’ve been charged with a DWI in New York, it’s imperative that you engage the services of an experienced New York criminal defense attorney in order to achieve the best possible outcome in your criminal case. At Barket Epstein, we will ensure that you are fully apprised of your legal rights and provided with the most effective defense possible against your charges. Contact our experienced attorneys today for a consultation.