On August 2, Governor Cuomo will sign a tough new drunk driving law. The law makes it a felony to drive drunk with children under the age of 15 in the car. The law also requires all convicted drunk drivers to install an ignition interlock in their cars or trucks.
Under a current law known as “Leandra’s Law”, convicted drunk drivers have been able to avoid installing ignition interlocks in the cars, which are Breathalyzer-type devices, by saying they don’t own a car. Under the new law, convicted drunk drivers will have to take an oath in court saying they no longer own a vehicle in order to avoid installing the device. If they are caught lying, they could face perjury charges as well as other criminal charges.
The bill also increases the period of time that a driver’s license is suspended for drivers who don’t install ignition interlocks – from six months currently to one year under the bill. Any motorists who drive drunk under a conditional license also face increased penalties. Conditional licenses are licenses that the court issues to convicted drunk drivers who need to drive in order to get to and from work. Finally, the bill also makes anyone convicted of a DUI/DWI in New York who is under the age of 18 subject to the installation of interlock systems.
DUI and DWI penalties are greatly increasing under the bill, and most likely will continue to do so. Therefore, if you are facing DUI or DWI charges in New York., it’s critical that you avoid a conviction. A drunk driving conviction on your record can seriously harm your ability in the future to obtain a job or a professional license, as well as can harm your life in other ways.