Recently a woman was arrested in Ballston Spa in Saratoga County for driving while intoxicated, and even though this was the seventh time she was charged with D.W.I. , she still had a valid driver’s license. That would not be allowed under a bill from... Read more
Charlotte's Law Implemented in NYS by Regulation of the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles
GOVERNOR CUOMO ANNOUNCES REGULATIONS TO PROTECT NEW YORKERS FROM DANGEROUS DRIVERS
Action Targets Drivers With Repeat Dangerous Driving Convictions
New DMV Rules Among Toughest Licensing Policies in the Nation
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced today a multi-pronged initiative to keep drivers with a history of repeat alcohol- or drug-related driving convictions off the road.
At the Governor's direction, the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will issue new regulations that will give New York among the toughest protections in the nation against drivers who persistently drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
"We are saying 'enough is enough' to those who have chronically abused their driving privileges and threatened the safety of other drivers, passengers and pedestrians," Governor Cuomo said. "This comprehensive effort will make New York safer, by keeping these drivers off our roadways."
Under current law, drivers who are convicted of multiple alcohol or drug related driving offenses cannot permanently lose their licenses. For example, if a driver is convicted of three alcohol or drug related driving offenses within a four year period, or four within an eight-year period, the driver will lose his or her license for as little as five years, and may then apply to be relicensed. Some drivers still have a license even after as many as six or seven alcohol or drug related driving convictions over longer periods of time. The only time a driver really faces losing a license permanently is when he or she has two alcohol or drug related convictions arising from separate crashes involving a physical injury.
These new regulations strengthen DMV's ability to keep dangerous drivers off the road for good.
The regulations call for:
- Lifetime Record Review by DMV
DMV will be able to review the lifetime record of all drivers who apply to have a license reinstated after a revocation.
- Truly Permanent License Revocation for Persistently Drunk & Dangerous
After conducting a lifetime record review, DMV will deny any application for reinstatement of a license after revocation if the applicant has:
o Five or more alcohol or drug related driving convictions in his or her lifetime
o Three or more alcohol or drug related driving convictions in the last 25 years plus at least one other serious driving offense during that period. A serious driving offense includes: a fatal crash, a driving-related penal law conviction, an accumulation of 20 or more points assessed for driving violations within the last 25 years, or having two or more driving convictions each worth five points or higher.
- Delayed Re-Licensing, Driving Restrictions, & Interlocks for Other
Drivers with Repeated Alcohol- or Drug-Related Driving Convictions
For those drivers seeking reinstatement of a license after revocation who have three or four alcohol or drug related convictions but no serious driving offense in the last 25 years, DMV will:
o Deny their applications for five years beyond their statutory revocation period if the applicant's license was revoked for an alcohol or drug related offense; or two additional years if the applicant's license was revoked for a reason other than an alcohol or drug related offense;
o Restore the applicant's license after that additional period as a "restricted" license limiting the applicant's driving to, for example, travel to and from work or medical visits; and
o For those drivers whose revocations stem from an alcohol-related offense, require an interlock on the vehicle driven by the applicant for five years.
- End the Reduction of Mandatory Suspension or Revocation Periods
Currently, repeat drunk drivers whose licenses have been revoked or suspended for six months or a year can nevertheless get their full driving privileges back in as little as seven weeks by completing DMV's Drinking Driver Program. DMV's new regulations will ensure that those drivers cannot obtain their driving privileges until their full term of suspension or revocation has ended.
Every year more than 300 people are killed and over 6,000 are injured on New
York's highways as a direct result of alcohol-related crashes. In 2010, 29%
of fatal crashes were alcohol-related.
Although the number of alcohol-related crashes involving physical injuries or fatalities has decreased during the last several years, there has been a disturbing increase in the number and percentage of crashes with an injury that involved a driver with three or more alcohol-related driving convictions. In 2010, 28% of the alcohol-related injurious crashes statewide involved someone with three or more alcohol-related convictions. This reflects a marked increase since 2005, when only 22% of the alcohol-related injurious crashes involved a driver with three or more alcohol-related convictions. In short, the problem of persistent repeat DWI offenders has grown.
Crashes involving alcohol are 10 times more likely to cause a fatality than crashes that do not involve alcohol.
Currently, more than 50,000 drivers with valid or suspended licenses have three or more alcohol-related convictions in their lifetimes, and 15,000 of those drivers had their 3 or more alcohol-related convictions in the last 20 years.
Approximately 17,500 licensed drivers who already have three or more alcohol-related convictions have been involved in at least one crash that injured or killed someone after those convictions. These drivers have been involved in over 22,000 crashes that injured or killed someone, resulting in over 500 fatalities.
Barbara J. Fiala, Commissioner of Motor Vehicles and Chair of the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee , said, "The Department of Motor Vehicles is proud to be working with Governor Cuomo in a concerted effort to address the problems caused by the most dangerous drivers with a history of repeat alcohol- or drug-related driving offenses. For the safety of all those who share our roads, we believe now is the perfect time to strengthen our regulations and procedures."
As a result of the new DMV regulations, an estimated 20,000 drivers will have their licenses permanently revoked or delayed this year.
Additional news available at www.governor.ny.gov
New York State | Executive Chamber | firstname.lastname@example.org | 518.474.8418
NEW YORK STATE BILL NUMBER: A08934A
Assemblyman James Tedisco and Senator Hugh Farley
TITLE OF BILL:
An Act to amend the vehicle and Traffic Law, in relation to the termination of driving privileges, also known as “Charlotte’s Law”
The purpose of this legislation is to revoke all driving privileges of an individual convicted of a combination of three or more DWI/DUI’s, causing fatal or personal injury in the course of an accident, in their driving history, will have all their privileges to drive or own a vehicle in New York State permanently terminated and would result in a felony conviction and fine up to one year in prison and $5,000 fine.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1: Creates a new provision of the vehicle and traffic law to provide for the permanent revocation of the driving privileges of “persistent vehicle and traffic law violators.” This provision defines a “persistent vehicle and traffic law violator” as one who has been convicted of any combination of three designated offenses within the previous 25 years.
Those designated offenses include: any driving while intoxicated and/ or impaired offenses; the offenses in § 1146 regarding lack of care while operating a motor vehicle, which causes injury or serious injury; all degrees of the vehicular manslaughter/homicide offences; manslaughter in the 1stor 2nddegree where such manslaughter is caused by the operation of a motor vehicle in violation of the vehicle and traffic law; or five or more at least three point violations within a five year period. This section required surrender of the license at such time. Further, this section allows for any authorized disposition and for the imposition of any other charges by any other provisions of law.
Section 2: Extends the current law regarding penalties for injuring a pedestrian/cyclist because of lack of exercising proper care while operating a motor vehicle to include a permanent revocation for a third conviction.
Section 3: Reduces the number of suspensions (and the number of separate dates for those suspensions) from ten to six, which would make one eligible to be charged with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the first degree. This section also adds the operation of a motor vehicle while under permanent revocation as a basis for the charge of aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the first degree. Further, this section requires permanent revocation of the license as a additional penalty for aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the first degree.
Section 4: Provides for an effective date of November 1, next succeeding enactment.
Current law does not allow for such strict guidelines for those committing these specific crimes against pedestrians and cyclists. Additionally, this Act creates a more severe punishment than incarceration, revocation of driving privileges and vehicle ownership. With these strict guidelines, it is expected that additional deterents will reduce the number of traffic violations and accidents.
Charlotte Gallo, a senior from Schenectady, New York, was killed by a truck speeding through an intersection near Proctor’s Theatre on January 2, 2010. Charlotte was leaving Proctors after a night of volunteering for the organization. The individual driving the truck had a long history of being a persistent violator of vehicle and traffic laws including a previous accident resulting in personal injury. Another Schenectady woman has been charges with a DWI eight times, and recently received another conviction, and after jail time, she will be able to operate a motor vehicle upon leaving incarceration.
These “chronic reckless drivers” are a danger to the public and need to understand that their actions have consequences, and these consequences should not only be the people they hurt, but the punishment they receive. When an individual places the lives of those around them in danger, the penalty for doing so should be harsh so that these people do not recommit this crime. If they chose to do so, New York State should take steps in assuring that it never happens again.
Driving is a privilege and not a right. Those who are so cavalier as to repeatedly break the law through their dangerous driving should no longer be given the privilege of driving in New York.
LOCAL FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
To be determined, though, strict enforcement of penalties and fines will create additional revenues for municipalities.
This act shall take effect on the first of November next succeeding the date on which it shall have become law.