In response to the 3 drunk driving arrests made by Suffolk Police over the weekend of parents with their kids in the cars, Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (8th Senate District) is calling for Assembly passage of a new law he is supporting (S2272) that would increase penalties for those who drive drunk with a child in their car. This legislation has passed the State Senate.
"As parents, our number one priority is to keep our children safe. When someone drinks and puts their child in the car, that child is completely defenseless; the child cannot get out of the car and take a cab home, nor can they take away the keys and drive home themselves," said Senator Fuschillo, a member of the Senate’s Transportation Committee and author of New York State’s ".08 Law". "Increased penalties are needed when an adult engages in this type of negligent behavior and puts a child’s life at risk."
If this legislation becomes law, drivers convicted of DWI with a child in their car would face an additional fine of between $200 and $500 dollars and/or an additional 48-hours of imprisonment for their first offense, in addition to any other court imposed penalties. For a two time offender, these additional penalties would increase to between $400 and $1,000 dollars and/or an additional 10 days of imprisonment. Anyone convicted three or more times would receive an additional fine of between $1,000 and $5,000 and/or an additional term of imprisonment of between 30 and 90 days.
Senator Fuschillo pointed to recent arrests made by the Suffolk County Police Department as an example of why this new law is needed. This past weekend, Suffolk County Police Officers made three separate arrests of parents who were driving drunk with a child in the car. The children ranged in age from teen to as young as two and a half. These three arrests were made within a five hour period.
"This is extremely reckless, negligent, and thoughtless behavior that, as we saw last weekend in Suffolk County, some people are all too willing to engage in. These incidents only illustrate the need for tougher laws," Senator Fuschillo added.
"This is not as unusual as you might think," stated Suffolk County Police Lt. Henry Bishop in a recent Daily News article. "We run into this type of thing at least once or twice a month."
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