Press Release: Senate Passes “Teresita’s Law” by Senator Bonacic

John J. Bonacic

April 29, 2013

 Today the New York State Senate passed “Teresita’s Law,” (S.1888)  sponsored by Senator John J. Bonacic (R/C/I-Mt. Hope), which elevates the charge of causing the death of another, while negligently operating a motor vehicle with a suspended, revoked, or otherwise withdrawn license, from a misdemeanor to a Class E Felony.

This legislation was introduced in honor of Teresita “Grace” Solano, who was killed in Middletown, New York last year, when she was hit while crossing a street by a negligent driver who was operating a vehicle with a suspended license.  The driver’s license had been previously suspended multiple times, however under the current law he could only be charged with a misdemeanor, which carries a maximum jail sentence of 30 days and a $500 fine.  

“This is an outrage. When a driver with a suspended license kills another person, he or she must be held accountable for their actions,” said Senator Bonacic.

Senator Bonacic’s bill will remedy this gap in the law and make such criminal action a felony.   

“Those who drive without valid licenses should not be on the road, and when they kill an innocent person they cannot walk away with only a slap on the wrist,” Senator Bonacic said.

“I credit the unanimous passage of this legislation in the Senate to Teresita’s sister, Evangeline Papp.  It was her tireless efforts that made the passage of this legislation in the Senate a reality,” Senator Bonacic concluded.

The bill now moves to the Assembly for a vote.