New York toughens stance on drunk driving

A new law in New York increases the penalties for fatal or serious injury drunk driving accidents.

Drunk drivers are known to be one of the biggest dangers that people in Nassau County face on area roads. These negligent drivers claim lives and leave victims and loved ones mourning or struggling with the serious after-effects of accidents for years.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 24 people died in drunk driving accidents in Nassau County in 2013. That was out of a total of 83 vehicular deaths. Statistics for other neighboring counties show the following:

  • In Suffolk County, drunk drivers claimed the lives of 44 people.
  • In Kings and Queens Counties, 26 people died in each county in drunk driving accidents.
  • The Bronx saw 14 people die as a result of drunk driving crashes.
  • New York County lost another eight lives in such accidents.

Statewide, 364 people lost their lives to drunk drivers.

New York takes action

Effective June 16, 2015, a new law will be in effect. This law, according to the report, will increase the penalties that drunk drivers may face if they cause serious bodily injury or death. Both such situations will result in felony charges. If a person is killed, the driver can spend between three and 15 years in jail.

Stories are easy to find

It is sadly all too easy to find news reports of drunk driving accidents and arrests. In late December last year, the New York Patch provided details of a father from Glen Cove arrested for a felony DWI. The man was driving with his six, nine and 11 year old children in the vehicle while intoxicated. He was noted to be driving at 106 miles per hour on a weekday afternoon.

Earlier this year, another Glen Cove dad was arrested on aggravated DWI charges after a crash. His two-year old daughter was in the car at the time of his drunk driving arrest. While she was in a car seat, she was reportedly not buckled in according to the Newsday story.

More recently, the New York Daily News ran a story about a deadly crash in Harlem that claimed the life of a 24-year old woman. The victim was one of two passengers in a vehicle driven by a drunk driver who ran into a tree.

What can people do?

Defensive driving techniques are helpful and important but they may not be able to prevent every accident. If you or someone you love is hit by a drunk driver, action is needed. Contact an attorney right away for help.

Keywords: drunk driving, accident, injury