Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (8th Senate District), author of New York State’s ".08" law, has announced his support for a new plan being proposed by Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice to combat drunk driving. Senator Fuschillo joined District Attorney Rice, Senator Michael A.L. Balboni (7th Senate District), law enforcement officials, and victims advocates at a recent press conference to unveil the new plan.
One of the components of the District Attorney’s plan is support for legislative changes to DWI laws, including Senator Fuschillo’s proposal to require mandatory jail time for repeat DWI offenders. Under Senator Fuschillo’s legislation, drivers who have two DWI offenses within a five year period would be required to spend a mandatory 5 days in jail, in addition to any other court imposed penalties. Offenders with three or more DWI convictions within a five year period would be required to spend ten days in jail, in addition to any other court imposed penalties.
"In the last two years, there have been more than 8,500 DWI arrests and over 50 deaths caused by drunk drivers in Nassau County alone. By requiring prison sentences for repeat DWI offenders, we will be targeting the most hard core offenders and sending them the message that if they drink and drive, they will go to jail. I thank District Attorney Rice for supporting this legislation, and look forward to continuing our partnership to end the continuing string of senseless tragedies caused by drunk driving," said Senator Fuschillo.
Along with calling for tougher DWI laws, the District Attorney is proposing several other initiatives, such as stronger plea bargaining guidelines for drunk driving cases, increased driver education about DWI, and more substance abuse treatment for offenders.
"Today is Day 1 in our assault on drunk driving in Nassau County. It will be a long and hard process, certain to create opposition from the other side of the court room, but this step, and the steps that will follow, must be taken before more innocent lives are lost," District Attorney Rice stated.
"We are all tired of seeing the pain and suffering that drunk drivers inflict on both their victims and their victims’ loved ones. We must keep taking action and coming up with new solutions to help end these tragic deaths. Through continued cooperation between legislators, law enforcement, and victims advocates, we will keep enacting real reforms that will help get drunk drivers off of our roads and keep our families and friends safe," Senator Fuschillo added.
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