State Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. today announced that he has secured state funding for new Assistant District Attorneys (ADAs) dedicated to prosecuting DWI cases in the Offices of Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas J. Spota and Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen M. Rice. Each District Attorney will receive $55,000 in 2007-08 state budget funding to hire an additional prosecutor to combat the growing epidemic of drunk driving on Long Island.
Senator Fuschillo (R-Merrick) said, "We’ve toughened state laws to combat drunk driving in New York, now we’re giving the District Attorneys the tools they need to enforce these laws. District Attorney Spota and District Attorney Rice came to me to request this funding and I am pleased to partner with them as we continue to fight for safer roadways on Long Island."
District Attorney Spota said, "We appreciate the Senator's work in securing this much-needed funding that we will use to enhance our efforts in the prosecution of defendants arrested for driving while intoxicated."
District Attorney Rice said, "We are proud to have some of the strictest drunken driving policies in New York State right here in Nassau County. We are looking forward to continuing our partnership with Senator Fuschillo to fight the epidemic of drunk driving on Long Island and to make our streets and our neighborhoods safer."
Several months ago, both District Attorneys Spota and Rice instituted a new policy that prohibits plea bargaining in most cases in which the offending motorists refuses to submit to a chemical test pursuant to Section 1194 of the Vehicle and Traffic Law. Because offenders must now plead guilty to a crime rather than a violation, the number of trials conducted by prosecutors in the District Attorneys’ Offices have increased. The state budget funding will support the additional manpower needed for the job.
Denna Cohen, MADD L.I. President, Victim Advocate, said "The prosecution of Drunk Drivers is very important to all of us. This will let all the citizens of Long Island know that Drunk Driving is a serious crime. A new assistant district attorney will help in the process of getting these criminals off the roads. Mothers Against Drunk Driving would like to thank Senator Fuschillo for his efforts in helping eradicate drunk driving on Long Island."
Marge Lee, President of DEDICATEDD said, "We are grateful to Senator Fuschillo for securing these funds and for his never-ending commitment to the law abiding people of Long Island. Prosecuting DWI is paramount to letting those who drive drunk know that 'we the people' understand and acknowledge that every drunken driver has the potential to kill and destroy families."
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