Senator Kenneth P. LaValle today announced that he has cosponsored legislation to increase penalties for driving while impaired (DWI) when a child under sixteen years of age is in the car or is injured in an alcohol related accident. This measure would put more teeth into our current DWI laws and would address the irresponsible nature of this crime.
“We are still shocked and saddened by the tragedy that took the lives of four young children on the Taconic Parkway. Not long after that, a woman struck down a teenage boy on a Hampton Bays street while driving under the influence with her six-year-old child in the car,” said Senator LaValle. “This irresponsible and inexcusable behavior deserves the harshest penalty prescribed by law.”
It is reported that an average of 500 children are killed each year in alcohol-related traffic accidents. Under the measure supported by Senator LaValle, penalties will be increased and jail time will be certain for anyone convicted of driving under the influence with a child under 16 in the car or when a child under the age of 16 is killed or injured at the hands of a drunken driver.
“The reckless decision to drink and drive demonstrates total disregard for the lives of others,” said Senator LaValle. “This is an indefensible act and is especially disturbing when the life of a young child is knowingly put at risk.”