Controversial DUI Laws in New York


DUI is considered to be a nationwide problem with almost 12,000 people dying due to various drunken driving crashes last year with one fatality every 45 minutes. The New York state recently established one the toughest DUI laws in the country. This was enacted after a couple of devastating accidents. The new DUI bill Leandra’s Law was set up after the death of an 11 year of Leandra.

Controversial DUI Laws – Leandra Law

According to this law, it is considered to be a felony if a person operating a vehicle has a BAC of 0.08 or more and is driving with a child of age 15 or younger in the car. It will be considered as a punishable crime with four years rigorous imprisonment. In case, the child passenger is injured by the drunk driver, he will face up to a 15 year sentence. Apart from these consequences, the law also increased the consequences of drunk driving for all convicted of DWI.

This law however, has stirred a lot of controversy as anyone convicted of DUI under the Leandra’s Law will have to install ignition interlock devices on any car he drive. He will have to pass the breath test every time he starts the car. This is applicable to everybody convicted of DUI in New York and is not restricted to only those who are driving with a child or children in the car.

Reasons for Controversy in DUI Laws in New York

The supporters of this tough law feel that the installation of ignition interlock is reasonable considered the mobility and safety of people in the vehicle as well as on the road. This is a better option than taking away the driving privilege which might make them not be able to drive the car at all.

While it does have supporters, this law has its share of critics as well. This is because the counties in New York need to maintain and monitor these devices, they have not been given the state funding for this purpose. It also a huge financial burden to people who have been convicted of DUI as these devices are quite expensive and their installation costs $75 to $100, with same monthly fees. It could be installed for a minimum of 6 months and a maximum of 3 years based on the condition of the driver.

Apart from this, there is also certain amount of doubt about the effectiveness of these devices. According to a study conducted by the California Department of Motor Vehicles, though these devices are important to restrict drunk driving, they are not very effective at all times. It is also not very effective for first time offenders with high blood alcohol levels.

In spite of the support as well as controversies surrounding the New York DUI laws, the new Leandra’s Law has been in effect since 2009. To avoid the consequences of this law it is better to avoid DUI conviction, which means to avoid drunk driving.

Originally posted 2016-12-11 15:04:19.