When an individual is convicted of an alcohol related driving offense, the penalties will include a mandatory suspension or revocation of the individual’s New York State driving privileges. At sentencing, the court will order the suspension or revocation of the defendant’s driving privileges; in some cases, the suspension/revocation will go into effect on the sentencing date. In other cases, however, the court may issue a 20-day order, sometimes called the 20-day stay, which delays the mandatory suspension/revocation from going into effect for twenty days.   

For example, Mary is sentenced for DWI on March 1, 2013. The court orders a six-month revocation of Mary’s driving privileges. In addition, the court grants Mary the 20-day order. Because the court granted the 20day order, the 6 month revocation of Mary’s driving privileges will not be effective until 20 days after sentencing (March 21, 2013).  

It is important to note that the 20 day order does not decrease the court ordered suspension or revocation. It merely delays the court ordered suspension or revocation from going into effect for twenty days. Thus, when Mary is granted the 20 day order on March 1, 2013, the 6 month suspension of her driving privileges will be delayed for twenty days—the court ordered revocation will then go into effect on March 21, 2013, and will run from that date.