Senate Passes Legislation To Allow Drunk Drivers Who Kill To Be Charged With Homicide

 

Albany-State Senator Martin J. Golden (R-C, Brooklyn) joined his colleagues in the New York State Senate today passed legislation (S.5517), sponsored by Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R, Merrick), that would create the new charge of aggravated vehicular homicide for drunk drivers who kill others.

"When you drive a car drunk, that car becomes a weapon that can kill. People are getting killed on the roadways of New York State and the people driving those cars should be charged appropriately," said Senator Marty Golden. "I want to ensure that our laws give prosecutors the tools they need to go after those individuals who chose to drink and drive. When people make the decision to drink and drive, they are knowingly putting the lives of innocent people at risk."

The bill would strengthen state law by creating the new crime of aggravated vehicular homicide, a class B felony with a penalty of up to 25 years in prison. This crime would apply to criminals who kill someone in a drunk or drugged driving crash and also have at least one of the following:

> BAC of .18 or higher;
> prior DWI conviction within the last 10 years;
> crash caused the death of more than one person;
> crash killed one person and severely injures another;
> offender was driving with a suspended or revoked license from any state.

The legislation also creates the new crime of aggravated vehicular assault, a class C felony with a penalty of up to 15 years in prison. This crime would apply to drunk or drugged drivers who cause serious physical injury to another person and also have at least one of the following:

> BAC of .18 or higher;
> prior DWI conviction within the last 10 years;
> crash caused serious injury to more than one person;
> offender was driving with a suspended or revoked license from any state.