The State Senate this week sent a loud and clear message that New York State must have zero tolerance when it comes to drunk, impaired or reckless driving.
In a strong showing of bi-partisan cooperation, we overwhelmingly approved four separate measures designed to save lives, punish offenders and keep dangerous drivers off the streets.
· The first bill, which seeks to combat wrong way and reckless drivers, would establish a new class E felony crime of aggravated reckless driving. The new crime would be punishable by a sentence of up to 4 years in prison.
· The second bill would close a loophole in current law which allows someone arrested for DUI while driving with a conditional license to face only a traffic infraction.
State Senator Hugh T. Farley (R, C, I – Schenectady), Assemblyman Jim Tedisco (R,C,I-Schenectady-Saratoga) and Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin (R,C-Melrose) joined families, advocates and Stop DWI Coordinators in advance of the busy Memorial Day travel weekend, to urge safe driving this summer and call for tougher laws to get repeat drunk and dangerous drivers off the roads.
Tedisco, Farley and McLaughlin are calling for new legislation supported by Stop DWI Coordinators that would direct the NYS Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to implement regulations to permanently terminate driver’s license privileges for serial drunk and dangerous drivers.
In an effort to keep serial drunk drivers off the road, the New York State Senate recently passed “Vince’s Law,” which would establish a stronger penalty for multiple DWI convictions, reported State Senator Hugh T. Farley (R – Schenectady).
The bill (S.4267) creates a new Class C felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison, if a driver is convicted of three or more DWIs in a 25-year period. Currently, the law for multiple DWIs only includes offenses committed over a 10-year period.
The bill is named for Vincent Russo, an elderly Onondaga County man who was killed in 2011 by a drunk driver who was intoxicated behind the wheel, despite the driver having five DWI-related convictions, including four in the previous 17 years before the accident that killed Mr. Russo.
State Senator Hugh T. Farley (R,C, I – Schenectady) announced the New York State Senate recently passed legislation to require mandatory jail sentences for repeat DWI offenders.
Current law does not require repeat DWI offenders to spend any time in jail. Right now, repeat DWI offenders face class E or D felony charges punishable by up to four or seven years in jail and/or a fine between $1,000-$5,000 or $2,000-$10,000. However, judges have the discretion to sentence these offenders to only a fine or a fine and community service under the law.
The legislation (S750) would require drunk drivers with multiple DWI convictions to serve a jail sentence. Under the proposed law:
It’s hard to believe, but it is true. Fifty years after the 1963 Equal Pay Act was signed into law, pay discrimination in the workplace still exists in America.
In June, the Senate unanimously passed legislation to strengthen New York’s laws and ensure that women receive equal pay for equal work. However, action is still needed by the State Assembly on this bill.