Assemblyman McKevitt Helps Pass Stronger DWI Laws

Creates harsher penalties for drunk drivers to help keep LI’s roadways safe
June 23, 2006

Assemblyman Tom McKevitt (R,C,I – East Meadow) yesterday voted in support for a bill that will create harsher penalties for drunk drivers.

Automobile safety has become a growing problem in Nassau County which has seen a series of recent fatal crashes.

“In order to make the streets safer for families to drive on, we need to crack down on drunk driving,” said McKevitt. “There has been an astonishing number of car crashes on Long Island lately, and we will be able to save lives by deterring people from driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol.”

The legislation, which passed both the state Senate and Assembly, will create the crime of Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated for those that drive while ability impaired under the combined influence of drugs and/or alcohol. Those that are sentenced to probation for this offense will be required to install and maintain a functioning ignition interlock device during their probation.

Those that are convicted of seriously injuring or killing a person while committing the offense of aggravated driving while intoxicated will be charged with a felony and receive jail time and/or hefty fines.

McKevitt and his Assembly minority conference have come up with similar legislation in their Restore NY plan. In addition to these provisions, McKevitt wants to create additional penalties for excessive speed, and create the felony of third-degree vehicular manslaughter.

“This is a great step in the right direction. However, there is more to be done,” stated McKevitt. “The plan my colleagues and I have come up with is very similar to the one passed today. However, there are additional provisions that I wish to enact. I am pleased that we passed this bill, but we must do more to make the streets of Nassau safe for everyone.”