County And State Officials Join In Effort To Get Albany To Act On Important Teen Safety Bills
WHITE PLAINS, NY-With the state Legislature heading toward a summer recess, Senator Jeff Klein (D-Bronx/Westchester) joined together with Westchester District Attorney Janet DiFiore, Senator Vincent Leibell, and Assembly members Sandra Galef and George Latimer to push for passage of four important bills designed to deter underage drinking and to make sure new teen drivers are better trained.
Executive and the Board of Legislators.
Westchester roadways,” said DiFiore. “Equipping our teens with the necessary knowledge and experience, before they get behind the wheel, is a preventative measure that will save lives. I am proud to join County Executive Spano in support of this legislation as we do everything possible to continue the safe and effective management of our young drivers.”
protect and save the lives of our inexperienced drivers, their passengers, and those innocent bystanders who are often hurt or killed by young and newly licensed drivers. Almost every day we hear of a new tragedy where a young life was taken or another family was torn apart due to car accidents that, had the driver been more experienced, may have been avoided.”
Concurring, Latimer said, “The question is: are we serious about curbing teen drinking, or not? We read terrible statistics of accidents from drunk driving; we see horrible stories of human tragedy. But if those statistics and those human stories mean something to us, then we must be truly tough with our young people and ourselves and make the penalties tough enough so teens will soberly consider what's at stake.”
Commented Galef, “solid research documents that graduated drivers’ licenses reduce the number of teen serious accidents and fatalities. I have two bills that would help protect our teens. One would increase the number of supervised hours for those learning how to drive, and the second prohibits teens with learners’ permits and junior licenses from driving with teens unless accompanied by an adult. I have made these pieces of legislation my top priority, and urge my colleagues to join me in passing the bills.”
- A.5330 (Latimer) / S.5331 (Klein) – The bill cracks down on merchants who repeatedly sell liquor to minors. There are currently no provisions in law to suspend or revoke a liquor license for violations related to the sale of alcohol to people under 21. This bill would mandate that merchants with repeat offenses lose their liquor and/or lottery licenses. It is hoped that by hitting them in the pocketbook, these merchants will be more responsible in the future. As such, it is similar to the approach taken with merchants who sell tobacco to minors.
- A.2221 (Galef) / S.4701 (Leibell) – This proposal further amends the Graduated Licensing Law by making it illegal for junior license holders to have any other young passengers in the car, unless there is a licensed person of at least 21 years old in the car.
- S.4699 (Leibell) / A. 2994 (Latimer) –The bill would requires that judges suspend driver’s licenses of anyone under the age of 21 who, even as a passenger, is found to be in possession of alcohol in a motor vehicle with intent to consume it. For a first-time offense, the suspension would be three months; for a second violation within 18 months, six months; and for a third-offense, one year or until the individual reaches the age of 21. If the person does not yet have a driver’s license, provisions would mandate that he not be eligible to get the license until the sentence expires.