New penalties for some drunk drivers in New York

New York is aiming to crack down on drunk driving with more stringent penalties for fatal or injury accidents.

New Yorkers know that the state has been working hard to improve safety for pedestrians in the city with the Vision Zero plan. Now, the state has implemented a new law that toughens some penalties for drunk driving. reported that anyone convicted of a drunk driving offense that resulted in the death or serious injury of at least one other person will be charged with a felony. Jail time for these offenses can be up to 15 years. The law went into effect on June 16, 2015.

Recent stories in New York

The New York Daily News gave details on a 57-year old man who was killed while he was waiting at a bus stop by an impaired driver. The vehicle driver was said to have gone up on the sidewalk after attempting to avoid hitting another vehicle. The article did not specify what the driver's blood alcohol content was but he was arrested for driving while ability impaired.

A Hanover-based police officer was rear-ended by a drunk driver while en route to assist with a freeway accident. According to NBC New York, the officer suffered injuries to his elbows, shoulder and back.

A 24-year old woman has been charged with vehicular manslaughter in the death of a 41-year old woman. The New York Daily News report indicates that the victim was a passenger in the vehicle driven by the defendant. Police were attempting to stop the driver for a traffic violation but she tried to get away from them. In the process, she ran a stop sign and collided with another vehicle, killing her passenger.

Statistics back up the danger

Information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for 2013 show that 364 people in New York lost their lives in drunk driving accidents. Details of vehicular fatalities involving alcohol by local counties include the following:

  • In Suffolk County, drunk drivers killed 44 people.
  • In both Queens and Kings Counties, drunk drivers killed 26 people each.
  • In Nassau County, drunk drivers killed 24 people.
  • In Bronx County, drunk drivers killed 14 people.
  • In New York County, drunk drivers killed eight people.

Richmond County lost another three lives in drunk driving accidents that year.

How victims can get help

When a serious drunk driving accident happens, victims and family members deserve help. Working with an attorney as soon as possible is an important way of seeking the proper compensation.

Keywords: drunk driving, accident, injury