New York’s Proposed Felony DWI Law
Tuesday, 18 August 2009 22:45

Governor Paterson (D) of New York state has submitted a bill that would toughen laws for drinking and driving with a child 16 or under as a passenger. The new proposed law is called the Child Passenger Protection Act. It will be considered in the fall when the New York Senate and House reconvene.

As proposed, the law would make it a Class B felony if a minor where killed in an accident while riding with an intoxicated driver. The punishment would be 5 to 25 years in prison. If the minor were injured instead of killed, then it would be a Class C felony with three and a half to 15 years in prison. If convicted of driving intoxicated with a minor where no injuries or death were caused, it would be a Class E felony with up to 4 years in prison. The proposed law also specifies that anyone charged with having a BAC higher than .08 while driving a passenger who is 16 or under, would lose their license pending prosecution. Conviction in this scenario would result in loss of license for a year. The loss of license penalty is increased to a year and a half if the driver had a prior DWI in the past 10 years.

In addition to these penalties, anyone convicted would also be categorized as a “serious offender” and would be required to have a ignition interlock for one year. This makes the car inoperable unless the driver demonstrates his sobriety by blowing into the device prior to starting the car. This proposed law would make this mandatory instead of at the court’s discretion.

You can read the Governor’s press release here.





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