senate Bill S40

2009-2010 Legislative Session

Increases penalties for criminal convictions of drunk or drugged driving where a child, under the age of 17, is a passenger

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Archive: Last Bill Status - In Committee

  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor

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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jan 06, 2010 referred to transportation
Jan 07, 2009 referred to transportation

S40 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
Current Committee:
Law Section:
Vehicle and Traffic Law

S40 - Bill Texts

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An act to amend the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to additional
penalties for certain drunk driving convictions

Increases the penalties for criminal convictions of drunk or drugged
driving where a child, under the age of 17, is a passenger.

Section 1: Amends subdivision 1 of section 1193 of the vehicle and
traffic law by adding a new paragraph (g) that increases the penalties
for driving intoxicated with a child in the vehicle. The additional
penalties for a person convicted of drunk driving with a child under
the age of 17 in the vehicle are: for the first such offense, an
additional fine of between 2,000 and 5,000 dollars and 48-hours of
consecutive imprisonment; for any subsequent offense, an additional
fine of between 5,000 and 10,000 dollars and an additional term of
imprisonment of not less than one year nor more than 4 years.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's
National Center for Statistics and Analysis in 2004 a total of 442 (21
%) of all fatalities among children 14 and younger occurred in crashes
involving alcohol. Of those 442, approximately half of those killed
were passengers in vehicles with drivers who had been drinking with
blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels of .01 grams per deciliter of
higher. On average 500 children are killed annually in alcohol-related
traffic crashes where the adult driver was responsible for their
safety. Between 1985 and 1996 more than 5,500 children passengers died
as a result of alcohol related traffic crashes. In 64 percent of those
deaths, the child was riding as a passenger with he drunk driver, and
almost two-thirds of those fatalities involved a parent-aged driver.
From 1994 - 2000 there where 12,409 alcohol-related deaths involving
children under the age of 14. Since the early 1990's, 27 states have
passed laws directly addressing this issue in an attempt to protect
children and severely punish those drunk drivers who put children at
risk. Of the 27 states, 21 have adopted additional penalties in
addition to their current drunk driving laws and 4 (Arizona, Georgia,
Idaho and Ohio have adopted separate legislation to deal with the

Drunken Driving is a pervasive blight on our society which may have
far reaching negative effects on those lives it touches. Death,
parilization amputation, head trauma and disfigurement are common when
a car driven by a drunk driver is involved in an accident. As a
society we have already determined this to be a significant crime.
When an adult who is responsible for the care of a child violates
their obligation to protect that child and drives while intoxicated
they are committing a crime that should be held as particularly
despicable by society. For this reason, it is imperative that we pass
strict laws proclaiming that this state will have no tolerance for
such behavior and will punish those offenders appropriately both for
what they have done and to discourage others.

2007-2008 Passed the Senate (S.5315/A.9093)



This act shall take effect on the first of November next succeeding
the date on which it shall have become a law.
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