In the wake of a deadly crash on the Southern State Parkway in which a Wyandanch man was driving under the influence of drugs with two small children in the car, New York State Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (8th Senate District) continued his call for stronger penalties for people who drive under the influence with children in the car.
Earlier this summer, Senator Fuschillo joined with Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota in calling on the State Assembly to pass legislation creating tougher penalties for people who drive drunk or drugged with children in the car. The legislation, which is sponsored by Senator Fuschillo, has already been passed by the State Senate.
"Adults are supposed to protect children from danger, not place them in it. When an adult drives under the influence with children in the car, those children become hostages in a potentially deadly situation. Sadly, as a result of this crash, two toddlers were injured. This is exactly the reason why tougher laws are needed," said Senator Fuschillo.
According to news reports, Salih Townsley was driving under the influence of drugs along the Southern State Parkway late Sunday night when he lost control of the car and crashed into a tree. Four other passengers were also in the car, including two toddlers. Both children were injured in the accident, one of whom was ejected from the car and landed in the woods. One of the other passengers died as a result of his injuries.
Under Senator Fuschillo’s legislation (S.5315), people who drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs with a child in the car would face an additional fine of between $2,000 and $5,000 and 48 hours of consecutive imprisonment for their first offense. Subsequent offenses would carry an additional fine of between $5,000 and $10,000 and an additional one to four years in prison.
These penalties would be in addition to any other penalties imposed by the courts.
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