Drunk driving laws in New York might soon be changing. Governor Andrew Cuomo is likely to sign a law into effect that will put harsher penalties in place for people who are convicted of three DWI-related offenses. "Vince's Law" as it has been nicknamed would go into effect on Nov. 1 if the governor signs the measure into law.
Currently, a person's third conviction on DWI-related charges within 10 years is considered a Class D felony, which can net up to seven years in prison. Under the new law, that time would increase to 15 years in prison. There is still a fine of $2,000 to $10,000 possible for a third DWI conviction in 10 years. On top of those consequences, people who are convicted under this law also face revocation of their driving privileges for a minimum of 12 to 18 months.
It is a well known fact that drunk driving can lead to serious accidents, just like the one that killed the bill's namesake. In that case, the drunk driver had a blood-alcohol concentration that was four times the limit allowable by New York law. Accidents like that one are likely the reason why the governor is taking such a harsh stance against drunk driving.
This new law doesn't mean that people accused of drunk driving will automatically be subjected to these penalties. Instead, those who are facing drunk driving charges still have the right to defend themselves against the charges. Understanding criteria and laws governing drunk driving accusations in New York is vital for anyone who is fighting these charges.
Source: WPTZ, "Governor expected to sign tougher drunken driving law" Aug. 01, 2014