Senator Fuschillo To Hold Public Forum On Drunk Driving Legislation

Charles J. Fuschillo Jr.

February 06, 2006

Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (8th Senate District) announced today that he will be hosting a public forum regarding pending legislation to strengthen New York State’s drunk driving laws. The forum will be held at Calhoun High School on Thursday, February 16th at 10 A.M.

The forum will gather input from other elected officials, including Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice, law enforcement officers, advocacy groups such as MADD and DEDICATEDD, and the general public about legislation being sponsored by Senator Fuschillo that would require mandatory jail time for repeat DWI offenders.

"Unfortunately, drunk driving is happening all too often. It seems every day in the news, we are hearing about another tragedy caused by a drunk driver. The time has come for stronger deterrents to make people think twice about getting behind the wheel when they’ve been drinking. The message needs to be clear: if you repeatedly drink and drive, then you will go to jail," said Senator Fuschillo, who also authored the law reducing the legal BAC limit in New York State from .10 to .08. "This forum will give us the opportunity to solicit input about this legislation from other leaders and concerned citizens."

The legislation being proposed by Senator Fuschillo would require any drunk driver who has been previously convicted of a DWI offense within the last five years to spend a minimum of five days in jail, in addition to any other penalties imposed by the courts. Drunk drivers who were convicted on two or more occasions of DWI within the last five years would be required to serve a mandatory sentence of ten days in jail, in addition to any other court imposed penalties.

The forum will be open to the public, however, oral testimony is by written invitation only. The public is welcome to submit written comments that will be reviewed by the panel.