2016-02-10 / Front Page

Reminder: Motorists Face Tough Drunk Driving Laws

By Liz Goff
State and city officials are reminding New York State motorists of a tough, new law that will put them behind bars if they drive drunk with children in the car.

The law makes it a felony to drive drunk with children under age 15 in the car – and requires all convicted drunken drivers to install an ignition interlock system in their vehicle.

The law closes loopholes in “Leandra’s Law” that allowed scores of convicted drunken drivers to avoid installing the Breathalyzet-type device in vehicles by falsely saying they do not own a car.

Under the new law state motorists convicted of drunken driving will have to state under oath in court that they no longer own a vehicle. Drivers will face perjury ad other criminal charges if they are caught lying.

The law also increases the minimum period for license suspension for drunken drivers who fail to install the $100 ignition interlocks from six months to one year – and increases penalties for motorists who drive drunk under a conditional license.

Law enforcement sources said under the law, conditional licenses would be issued by the court to drunken drivers who must use their vehicles to get to and from work.

Under current law, driving drunk with a conditional license is a traffic infraction, while driving with a revoked license is a felony, the sources said. The new law makes both offenses a felony, punishable by more than a year in jail.

The new law also toughens “Lenadra’s Law” by making youthful offenders (under 18) subject to the installation of interlock systems, law enforcement sources said.


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