In some ways, our New York drunk driving laws are among the most strict in the nation. Leandra's Law set a national precedent. In addition, our state mandates a chemical breath test or subjects the drunk driving suspect to additional penalties. Even so, there are drunk driving arrests every day of the week on Long Island alone.
Recently it was reported that a new effort is being made to target drunk driving repeat offenders. Governor Cuomo announced an initiative that is specifically aimed at those with multiple offenses.
The reasons given for the initiative are as follows:
- More than 300 people are killed in New York annually due to alcohol-related incidents.
- More than 6,000 are injured annually every year on New York's highways as a direct result of alcohol-related.
- Alcohol-related car accidents are 10 times more likely to cause a death.
Those are all highly valid reasons to want to cut down on drunk driving. The proposed changes to New York DWI laws are as follows:
- With five or more drunk driving or drugged driving convictions during a lifetime, the Department of Motor Vehicles can permanently revoke a driver's license.
- Three or more drunk or drugged driving convictions in a 25-year period and at least one other serious offense can result in a permanent license revocation.
- Convicted drivers will not regain driving privileges until the full term of suspension or revocation has been completed.
Despite a driver's license suspension, some drivers continue to drink and drive. There was no mention of any additional consequences for those driving without a license. Recently however, the state of New York began sharing data between police departments and the DMV through a secure connection so that more offenses could be caught.
These initiatives make it all the more important that those who are charged with drunk driving are not wrongly convicted of the charge. In the near future multiple charges could be carrying more severe consequences.
Source: The Observer, "Gerace backs new DUI repeat-offender law," Ryan Atkins, Nov. 5, 2012