New York State Cracks Down on Drunk Drivers

A tough bill signed into law today by Gov. David Paterson requires an ignition interlock for anyone convicted of drunken driving and makes it a felony to be convicted of drunk driving while a child was in the vehicle.

MADD today praised New York's legislature and Gov. David Paterson for enacting tough new requirements for those convicted in New York State of driving drunk. The bill signed by Paterson requires an ignition interlock for anyone convicted of drunken driving and makes it a felony to be convicted of drunk driving while a child was in the vehicle.

"These two new laws plus the Stop DWI self sufficiency program, coupled with the outstanding leadership of New York law enforcement and prosecutors, make New York the national model. MADD was honored to work with Mr. Lenny Rosado, Fulton Youth of the Future, Governor David Paterson, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Senator Chuck Fuschillo, Senator Martin Dilan, Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg, Warren County DA Kate Hogan and the District Attorneys Association of The State of New York," Mothers Against Drunk Driving CEO Chuck Hurley. "Every child deserves a designated driver. Driving drunk with a child in a vehicle is a form of child abuse. With the passage of Leandra's Law, New York is taking action to protect children, save lives and prevent injuries."

According to MADD, research shows first-time offenders arrested for DUI have driven drunk more than 87 times before their first arrest, and up to 75 percent of those whose licenses are suspended for DUI continue to drive anyway. Interlocks cut repeat drunk driving offenses on average by 64 percent, the organization says.

"Thank you for your continued support. It's been a challenging year, but thanks to your support and the support of people like you, we've still been able to make great strides in the fight to eliminate drunk driving," MADD National President Laura Dean-Mooney wrote in an e-mail to supporters today.

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