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Governor Cuomo toughens New York’s drunk driving laws

As some New York residents know, being arrested for drunk driving is a scary experience. Police officers in our state do not take instances of impaired driving lightly, even if you have never had a run-in with the law before. And as of today, drunk driving laws in New York will likely get much stricter.

Today, Gov. Cuomo is expected to sign a bill that will enhance the penalties for drunk driving in our state. His intentions in doing so are to close current loopholes in Leandra’s Law, which went into effect in 2009. Under Leandra’s Law, driving drunk with children in the car is a felony. Additionally, anyone convicted of drunk driving must install an interlock ignition device in their vehicle. The new bill imposes greater restrictions, including penalties for lying about owning a car.

Before the new laws, people convicted of drunk driving in New York were able to say they didn’t have a car to avoid being forced to use an ignition interlock device. Now, if a person lies about owning a car, he or she will face additional charges. On top of that, those convicted of DWI will have to use an interlock ignition device for one year instead of just six months. The same rules apply for driver under the age of 18.

As the governor has made abundantly clear, anyone charged with DWI in New York will face harsh penalties if convicted. It is important to remember, however, that not everyone accused of a crime is convicted. Drunk driving charges can be challenged in court. Police don’t always get it right.

Source: New York Daily News, “Gov. Cuomo to close loopholes in drunken-driving Leandra’s Law,” Glenn Blain and Kenneth Lovett, July 25, 2013