November 16, 2009

Assembly To Introduce Toughest DWI Law In The Nation

Blood alcohol content .08 with child in car is a felony,
interlock devices mandated for all DWI offenses

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver announced today that the Assembly Majority is introducing the strongest DWI law in the country. This comprehensive legislation will mandate that every person convicted of a DWI in New York State and every person convicted of a DWI related crime, have an ignition interlock installed as a condition of his or her sentence, in addition to any other penalty which might be imposed, including a fine or jail time.

"The Assembly has heard the concerns of the family of Leandra Rosado, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, law enforcement, and the District Attorneys Association of the State of New York, as well as New Yorkers who demand the vast array of protections and punishments that this comprehensive bill offers. If enacted this bill will make our roads safer and ensure the security of our families," said Silver.

The legislation will make it a felony to drive with a passenger who is a child 15 or under, while intoxicated with a blood alcohol content of .08, subjecting the defendant to a possible prison sentence of up to 1-1/3-to-4years for a first offense. This is the toughest sentence for any first time DWI offense with a child passenger in the nation. In addition, this legislation includes a number of other protections that recognize the seriousness of driving with children while driving intoxicated.

Interlock devices prevent intoxicated drivers from starting vehicles. If a convicted driver tries to bypass or tamper with the interlock, or get another person to use the interlock, under this new law he or she commits a crime. Under this proposal, courts will be required to sentence DWI offenders to use ignition interlocks.