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Driver Responsibility Assessment: The NY DMV Fines Apart From the Courts

by Seth Azria on 10/25/2018

A "Driver Responsibility Assessment" (DRA) is a monetary penalty imposed by the New York State DMV on drivers with certain convictions. The DMV will mail the bill for this assessment to your home after your case has been concluded and it must be paid in addition to fines, surcharges, and other penalties from the courts. 

Alcohol or Drug Related Convictions

The DMV will send you a DRA bill if:

  1. A driver is convicted of an alcohol related violation.
  2. A driver is convicted of a drug related violation.
  3. A DMV hearing determines a driver refused a drug or sobriety test.

For 1, 2, or 3, above, related to alcohol or drugs, the assessment is $750.  

Traffic Ticket Convictions: 6 Points or More in 18 months

For most, points arising from traffic ticket convictions are the most common way to receive this assessment. For accumulating 6 points in an 18 month period, the assessment will be $300.  For every point over 6, there will be an additional charge of $75 per point. If you are unsure how many points are associated with your conviction see our chart.

Sample Calculation

Accumulating 8 points in 18 months, be it from one speeding ticket, or from several smaller tickets, will cost you $450. That's $300 for the first 6 points and $150 for the other 2 ( $75 x 2).

The DMV will allow to you to pay this bill over a three year period. However, we advise paying it all at once if possible. A missed payment, for example by moving and forgetting to inform the DMV of the move or otherwise having trouble with your mail, will cause a suspension which in turn will a cause a misdemeanor charge called aggravated unlicensed operation. 

An Unwelcome Surprise

One common scenario we see is when a driver pleads guilty to speeding ticketfor 86 mph in a 65 mph zone or similar.  Speeding 21 - 30 miles per hour over the posted limit is 6 points and causes the penalty. These drivers call to see if we can reverse the conviction, remove the assessment, and negotiate a reduction. This is sometimes possible.

All Drivers on New York Roads Not Just New York Licensed Drivers

The New York DMV will impose the assessment regardless of where the driver is licensed. Be it in New York, Ohio, or Ontario, the DMV will send the bill and suspend your New York driving privileges if it goes unpaid. 

Never Plead Guilty, Call a Lawyer

The best course of action is to never plead guilty to a traffic ticket without consulting an attorney to discover all the possible consequences. We have helped thousands of drivers with their tickets and we invite your call to discuss your ticket. 

If you have already pleaded guilty and you are now facing a driver responsibility assessment, we may still be able to help you. It may be possible to reopen the case and negotiate a reduction with a formal motion to the court.

Please feel free to call us at (315) 364-1155 to discuss removing a conviction that has caused an assessment or to discuss how the assessment might apply to you. All consultations are complementary. 

Read more at the New York DMV

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