On September 25, 2012, new laws were established in the state of New York that introduced significantly harsher penalties for those with multiple alcohol or drugged-driving related convictions or incidents. Over the last 3 years, these new laws have clearly made a significant impact. Recently, the New York Post has reported that, since the stricter regulations became law back in 2012, the New York Department of Motor Vehicles has lifted 7,521 licenses, with nearly 4,000 of those being lost permanently.
Of the more than 7,000 licenses that have been lifted over the past 3 years, 3,942, or well more than half, have been suspended permanently. Under the new regulations, any driver with 5 or more alcohol or drugged-driving related conviction on their resume within the preceding 25 years will be, barring any extenuating circumstances, denied a license for the rest of their lives.
Furthermore, it is possible to receive the permanent ban even with fewer than 5 convictions over the same period of time. If a driver is deemed to have committed a "serious driving offense," which can range from accumulating 20 violation points over 25 years to causing a fatal accident, he or she can have their license permanently suspended with only three or four lifetime DWI convictions.
Although they were not given a permanent ban, the remaining 3,579 drivers who have had their licenses suspended over the past 3 years have still been subject to harsh punishment as a result of their actions. All of these drivers had their licenses lifted due to having 3 or 4 alcohol or drugged-driving related convictions without any serious driving offense over the preceding 25 years.
As a result of such troublesome resumes, all 3,579 of these drivers have had their licenses suspended, and they cannot apply for a renewal for five years. Even upon re-obtaining their license, these offenders are still severely restricted, as they are only legally allowed to drive to work or to doctor's appointments. In addition, many such drivers are required to install a device that tests their sobriety before their car will even start.
The state of New York views the suspensions as a major boost for road safety, with DMV Deputy Commissioner Terri Egan stating that "As a state, we must continue to vigorously combat the problem of alcohol- or drug- impaired driving."
Indeed, drunk and drugged driving remains one of the biggest dangers we face on the road today. In 2013, of the 304, 804 crashes that occurred in New York State, 7,587 were found to be the result of drunken-driving, with 132 accidents being fatal. Illegal drugs were deemed the cause of another 640 accidents, of which 9 were fatal.
Clearly, impaired driving, whether it is caused by alcohol or drugs, remains a serious problem on the road today, and it is imperative that such strict measures be taken to reduce the total number of injuries and fatalities in the future.
If you, or someone you know, has been seriously injured in an accident with a drunk driver, please contact the attorneys at Louis Grandelli, P.C. for a free consultation.