The State Senate this week sent a loud and clear message that New York State must have zero tolerance when it comes to drunk, impaired or reckless driving.
In a strong showing of bi-partisan cooperation, we overwhelmingly approved four separate measures designed to save lives, punish offenders and keep dangerous drivers off the streets.
· The first bill, which seeks to combat wrong way and reckless drivers, would establish a new class E felony crime of aggravated reckless driving. The new crime would be punishable by a sentence of up to 4 years in prison.
· The second bill would close a loophole in current law which allows someone arrested for DUI while driving with a conditional license to face only a traffic infraction.
· The third measure would allow law enforcement to seek court orders to compel when individuals suspected of DUI refuse to submit to chemical intoxication tests.
· The fourth bill, called “Abbagail’s Law,” would create new penalties for individuals supervising a driver while under the influence of drugs and alcohol. The bill is named for a young girl who died in a car accident after her father allowed a 17 year old with only a learners permit to drive his vehicle. The father had been under the influence of alcohol after leaving a family gathering.
I congratulate my colleagues in the Senate for approving these important bills, and I encourage the New York State Assembly to pass these potentially lifesaving measures as well.
By working together, we can help save lives and prevent future tragedies from occurring on New York’s roadways.