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IN LAKE PLACID , NY OCTOBER 16-19, 2016
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced today that 3,164 potentially dangerous drivers have been kept off New York’s roadways as a result of a multi-pronged initiative put in place last year by the state to keep drivers with a history of repeat alcohol- or drug-related driving convictions off the road.
We have seen too many times the heartbreak and tragedy that results when a driver under the influence of alcohol or drugs gets behind the wheel, Governor Cuomo said. Those who have continually shown a complete lack of regard for the safety of other drivers have no place on New York’s roadways. With more than 3,100 potentially dangerous motorists kept off the road since September, it is clear these new regulations have already been a tremendous success at protecting law-abiding New Yorkers drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.
Barbara J. Fiala, Commissioner of Motor Vehicles and Chair of the Governors Traffic Safety Committee said, “The Department of Motor Vehicles is proud to be working with Governor Cuomo to protect New Yorkers from persistently dangerous drivers. We will continue to review the records of those who have multiple alcohol or drug related convictions and, if they reapply for a license after their license has been revoked, we will take the appropriate actions to help ensure the safety of all those who share our roads.”
In September 2012, Governor Cuomo announced that New York would put in place among the toughest protections in the nation against drivers who persistently drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Since the implementation of the new DWI regulations, the State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has reviewed 3,891 applications for relicensing from individuals with more than 2 two alcohol/drug related driving offenses on their record.
Of those applications, 3,164 have been denied relicensing permanently or for an additional five years. Of that number, 1,658 were permanently denied relicensing because they have either:
The remaining denials (1,506) were those seeking reinstatement after revocation who had three or four alcohol- or drug-related convictions but no serious driving offense in the last 25 years. Accordingly, DMV denied them reinstatement for an additional 5 years (instead of being granted now) and required that, once those drivers are reinstated after that period, they will receive a problem driver A-2 restricted license that limits their driving to, for example, work-related or medical visits, and they will be required to drive with an ignition interlock on their vehicle for 5 years.
An additional 699 drivers were relicensed but required to use an ignition interlock to ensure that they do not drive drunk and received an A-2 problem driver restricted license to limit their driving to commutes to and from their workplaces and similar travel.
Significantly, none of these applications for relicensing were granted without either an A-2 restriction and/or ignition interlock imposed on the driver as a condition of relicensing.
Prior to the Governors reforms last year, repeat drunk drivers whose licenses had been revoked or suspended for six months or a year could nevertheless get their full driving privileges back via a conditional license in as little as seven weeks by completing DMVs Drinking Driver Program. DMV's new regulations now ensure that those drivers cannot obtain their driving privileges (even via conditional license) until their full term of suspension or revocation has ended.
Before the new regulations took effect, even drivers convicted of multiple alcohol- or drug-related driving offenses did not permanently lose their licenses. For example, if a driver was convicted of three alcohol or drug related driving offenses within a four year period, or four within an eight-year period, the driver lost his or her license for as little as five years, and then could apply to be relicensed. Previously, some drivers still had a license even after as many as six or more alcohol- or drug-related driving convictions over longer periods of time. Before the Governor’s actions, the only time a driver really faced losing a license permanently is when he or she had two alcohol or drug related convictions arising from separate crashes involving a physical injury.
The statistics demonstrate why repeat offenders must be the focus of efforts to protect public safety on our roads:
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed legislation creating Vince’s Law, an amendment to current law that extends the time frame in which multiple DWIs can be considered to automatically invoke a felony.
Motorists who repeatedly drive drunk are a danger to themselves and everyone else on the road, and they have no place behind the wheel, Governor Cuomo said. Vince’s Law will keep these reckless individuals out of the drivers seat and help prevent future tragedies from occurring. I thank the sponsors of this bill for their help in combating drunk driving and am proud to sign this bill into law today.
Named after Vincent Russo, who died after being struck head-on by a driver with multiple DWIs, Vincent’s Law aims to keep repeat offenders off the road. In Mr. Russo’s case, the offending driver had five prior DWI offenses and was not yet incarcerated.
This legislation will raise the penalty levels for offenders who commit three or more DWI-related offenses within 15 years, with a maximum determinate prison sentence of up to 7 years in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000 where previously such repeat offenses might not have been prosecuted as a felony at all.
Senator John De Francisco said, “Vincent Russo was tragically killed by a drunk driver, whose blood-alcohol content was four times the legal limit, and was free awaiting sentencing for a fifth DWI violation. Repeatedly driving while intoxicated is a very serious risk to all citizens on our highways, and this bill will help to address the issue by increasing penalties for repeat offenders. I am happy that the Governor agrees and has decided to sign this bill into law."
Assemblyman Samuel Roberts said, “Too many innocent lives of New Yorkers were taken because of those who chose to drink and drive. I am happy to have sponsored Vince’s law, which will keep drivers with multiple DWI convictions off the roads. By taking these actions we are helping to ensure greater safety for all New Yorkers on the road, and I thank Governor Cuomo signing this bell that will keep New Yorkers safe.”
This law passed both houses of the legislature as S7108 and A8021-A, respectively.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that New York State has kept 7,521 dangerous drivers off the road since implementing tougher DWI regulations nearly three years ago. In September 2012, Governor Cuomo directed the Department of Motor Vehicles to implement some of the strongest protections in the nation against drivers who persistently drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
“We will not tolerate drivers who repeatedly put others in danger, and these numbers show beyond a doubt that our effort to keep the roads safe is working,” Governor Cuomo said. “We’re cracking down on the most dangerous drivers in our state – and thanks to our tougher DWI regulations, New York’s roadways are getting safer for everyone else to travel responsibly.”
Since the implementation of the tougher regulations, the DMV has reviewed 8,450 applications for relicensing from individuals with three or more alcohol or drug-related driving offenses on their record. Based on the application review, the DMV denied 7,521 individuals from receiving a license either permanently or for an additional five years.
The DMV permanently denied relicensing for 3,942 individuals because they have either:
A serious driving offense includes a fatal crash; a driving related penal law conviction; an accumulation of 20 or more points worth of driving violations within the last 25 years, or having two or more driving convictions worth five points or higher.
The DMV also denied an additional 3,579 drivers from reinstatement for an additional five years after revocation due to three or four alcohol or drug-related convictions but no serious driving offense in the last 25 years. Once reinstated after that five-year period, these individuals will receive a problem driver A-2 restricted license. This type of license is limited to driving to or from work or medical visits, among certain other limitations, and most often requires drivers to use an ignition interlock on their vehicle for five years.
“As a state, we must continue to vigorously combat the problem of alcohol or drug impaired driving,” said DMV Deputy Commissioner Terri Egan. “Our state’s tougher regulations keep habitual offenders off our roads so that law-abiding citizens can safely travel across our state.”
In an effort to combat impaired driving in the state, Governor Cuomo recently announced a statewide multi-media campaign utilizing billboards, radio, TV and social media to remind motorists about the deadly impacts of impaired driving. The campaign, funded by the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee, builds on the state’s ongoing efforts to combat impaired driving and reduce the number of traffic fatalities.
Campaign billboards with an ‘Impaired Drivers Take Lives. Think’ message are now appearing across the state. The Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee also produced a 30-second public service announcement that will air on broadcast and cable television, as well as radio stations, statewide.
JUNE 08th 2015 | Albany Ny
GOVERNOR CUOMO ANNOUNCES MORE THAN 7,500 DANGEROUS DRIVERS KEPT OFF NEW YORK'S ROADS DUE TO TOUGHER REGULATIONS
State Agencies Partner with Law Enforcement To Prevent the Use of Fake IDs to Obtain Alcohol Underage Patrons Subject to Arrest and Can Have Licenses Revoked for at Least 90 Days
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the launch of coordinated sweeps during the summer concert season and at other underage hotspots as part of ongoing efforts to deter underage drinking and prevent the use of fake IDs. The enforcement sweeps will occur unannounced at various concert venues and other places where young adults congregate across the state, and will be carried out by the Department of Motor Vehicles' Division of Field Investigation in partnership with the State Liquor Authority, New York State Park Police, New York State Police, and local law enforcement agencies.
"Underage drinking and the bad decisions that follow lead to life-altering consequences for young people," Governor Cuomo said. "With this crackdown, we are not only sending the message that this behavior will not be tolerated in New York State, but we are taking steps to help prevent avoidable tragedies."
The summer crackdown is part of Operation Prevent, a DMV initiative conducted all year long that targets not only concerts, but bars and drinking establishments, events, and other underage hot spots. During an Operation Prevent sting, state investigators work with the State Liquor Authority and law enforcement entities to check identification documents. Patrons under the age of 21 found to be using fake IDs or false documents with the intent of purchasing alcohol can be arrested and have their license revoked for a minimum of 90 days or up to one year.
Last year, Governor Cuomo announced a similar statewide crackdown, which took place at concert venues that included Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC), Darien Lake Performing Arts Center in Genesee County, and CMAC in Canandaigua. This year, Operation Prevent will expand to additional venues, including Nikon at Jones Beach Theater (Jones Beach State Park) on Long Island.
"Too often, innocent victims and young lives are lost and families’ dreams are shattered because of underage drinking," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "Under Operation Prevent, New York State is stepping up its efforts to deter underage drinking and prevent the use of fake identification. Let's enjoy world-class entertainment and all that this State has to offer and get home safely."
DMV Executive Deputy Commissioner Terri Egan said, "By announcing in advance of the summer concert season that DMV, SLA, and law enforcement will be checking IDs at summer concert venues, we hope to discourage young people from even thinking about obtaining a fake ID and using it to purchase alcohol. The bottom line is, using a fake ID isn’t worth it. Not only do you risk getting arrested, but you can lose your license for 90 days. That is a long time, particularly in the summer months. I thank our partners at SLA, New York State Parks, and law enforcement agencies statewide for helping us carry out this important initiative."
The New York State Park Police will continue a coordinated effort to crack down on illegal alcohol-related activities at and around Saratoga Spa State Park during the 2016 Saratoga Performing Arts Center Live Nation concert series as well as the summer concert series at Jones Beach. In addition to DMV, State Liquor Authority, and police officers using equipment to detect fake IDs, uniformed and plainclothes Park officers will:
· Patrol park grounds, parking areas, and the concert venue and make necessary arrests, issue tickets, impound vehicles, confiscate and discard alcoholic beverages, and eject violators from the park and concert venue.
· Use passive alcohol screening devices (Alco-Sensor FSTs) to detect alcohol in unmarked containers.
· Monitor roadways and entry points to screen motorists for possession of alcoholic beverages and drunk and impaired driving. Drunk and impaired drivers will be immediately arrested and their vehicles may be impounded.
Inside the SPAC and Jones Beach venues, a bracelet is required to purchase alcohol. Bracelets are obtained by showing legal ID at one of the ID stations set up inside the facility. Investigators from DMV and the State Liquor Authority will also be using portable document verification machines which allow them to conduct forensic examinations of suspect documents in the field using white light, UV light, and infrared light sources.
State Park Police Chief David Herrick said, "New York State Park Police look forward to working with our law enforcement partners to assure that visitors to State Park concert facilities enjoy a safe experience this summer. People who jeopardize public safety with underage drinking, driving while intoxicated and illegal drug use or possession will not be tolerated."
Operation Prevent is supported by the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee, which coordinates traffic safety activities in the state and awards federal highway safety grant funds to local, state, and not-for-profit agencies for projects to improve highway safety and reduce deaths and serious injuries due to crashes. The Governor announced in January that 2015 efforts to deter underage drinking by DMV investigators resulted in nearly 760 arrests and the seizure of more than 750 fraudulent identification documents. DMV, working closely with State Liquor Authority, conducted four joint operations in 2015, two of which resulted in the revocation of the establishments’ liquor licenses.
Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, the State Liquor Authority has aggressively stepped up enforcement regarding sales to minors in addition to providing education to licensees on their responsibilities. Prosecutions by the State Liquor Authority increased to 1,552 violations in 2015, a 50 percent increase from 1,036 violations in 2010. The State Liquor Authority also increased the number of trainings to reduce underage sales and help licensees to avoid violations before they occur by certifying and promoting Alcohol Training Awareness Program. The number of trainings completed by licensees and their staff has increased by nearly threefold, from 5,014 in 2010, to 14,549 in 2015.
State Liquor Authority Chairman Vincent G. Bradley said, "Keeping alcohol out of the hands of underage youth is a top priority at the New York State Liquor Authority. We remain committed to working proactively on the front lines with our partners at DMV, Parks and local law enforcement to ensure alcohol is sold and purchased responsibly by adults only."
Legislation Links Prior DWIs and DWAIs to BWIs and BWAIs to Provide Harsher Penalties for Repeat Offenders
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed “Tiffany Heitkamp’s” Law, legislation that strengthens penalties for boating while intoxicated offenses by linking them to prior drinking while driving offenses involving a vehicle. The bill (A.1597-A/S.3785-A) requires courts to consider prior Driving While Intoxicated or Driving While Ability Impaired convictions when sentencing a person for Boating While Intoxicated or Boating While Ability Impaired.
“Whether behind the wheel of a car or a boat, drunk drivers are a danger to themselves and a menace to others,” Governor Cuomo said. “This new law closes this loophole and will help keep these dangerous individuals off our roads and waterways, avoiding more senseless tragedies.”
Under current law, there is no linkage between prior DWI and DWAI offenses and BWI offenses. This makes it impossible to convict an individual as a repeat offender, despite prior violations of similar laws. The bill addresses this gap by linking these similar offenses and providing harsher penalties for repeat offenders
Specifically, this measure requires that a court sentencing an individual for a BWI carrying a 30-day sentence must consider any prior DWIs or DWAIs by the same individual within a five-year period. When sentencing for a BWAI carrying a 180-day sentence, the court must consider prior DWIs or DWAIs within a 10 year period. This change would require a sentencing judge to impose a higher sentence on those who repeatedly get behind the wheel in an intoxicated state, regardless of whether it is a car or a boat.
Senator John A. DeFrancisco said, "When someone has a history of operating a vehicle or vessel while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, that record should be taken into account when the individual is sentenced. Repeat offenders should be held accountable for their history of dangerous actions to help deter further tragedies. I am very pleased that Governor Cuomo has signed this important bill into law to help improve the safety of our roadways and waterways. I also would like to commend MaryJo Heitkamp-France on her advocacy to help get this bill passed."
Assemblyman William Magnarelli said, “I want to thank Governor Cuomo for signing this important bill into law. It will honor the memory of Tiffany Heitkamp by requiring that judges take into account past DWI convictions when sentencing those convicted of Boating While Intoxicated. It will further deter those who repeatedly violate NY’s intoxicated operation laws. I also want to thank Ms. MaryJo Heitkamp-France for her tireless advocacy on behalf this legislation in memory of her daughter. This new law would not have happened without her efforts. I hope it will honor Tiffany’s memory and save lives on our waterways.”
The “Tiffany Heitkamp” bill was named after a young Syracuse-area woman who was killed in July 2006 while traveling as a passenger in a boat operated by an intoxicated person. The individual operating the boat had a record of alcohol-related automobile incidents. However, because there was no link between prior convictions for Boating While Intoxicated, he could only be charged as if this was his first BWI.
08/16/2016 | Albany Ny
GOVERNOR CUOMO SIGNS "TIFFANY HEITKAMP'S" LAW STRENGTHENING PENALTIES FOR BOATING WHILE INTOXICATED OFFENSES
06/15/2016 | Albany Ny
GOVERNOR CUOMO ANNOUNCES COORDINATED SWEEPS TO COMBAT UNDERAGE DRINKING AND FAKE IDS DURING SUMMER CONCERT SEASON
NYS Liquor Authority, Advocates and Industry Partners Join Together to Advance Alcohol Responsibility and Prevent Sales to Minors
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today launched the “No Excuses” campaign aimed at curbing underage drinking in New York. The statewide education campaign includes the distribution of more than 15,000 display materials, in Spanish and English, to restaurants and liquor stores across the state.
“Far too many times we’ve witnessed the dangers of underage drinking and the tragic and life-altering consequences that come with it,” Governor Cuomo said. “With prom and graduation season just around the corner, this campaign sends the message that this reckless behavior just isn’t worth it.”
The New York State Liquor Authority in conjunction with the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility kicked off the statewide campaign ahead of prom and graduation season and began the distribution of thousands of display materials to liquor licensees throughout New York. The groups are hosting launch events with spirits retailers in Albany, Buffalo, New York City and Rochester, with participation by local law enforcement officials, who are on the front lines in combating underage drinking.
Members from all levels of the spirits industry came together for the “No Excuses” effort. Responsibility.org represents the country’s leading distillers, and wholesale partners include Southern Wine & Spirits and Empire Merchants. The following retail associations are also involved in the campaign:
The New York State Liquor Stores Association
Empire State Restaurant and Tavern Association
Metropolitan Package Store Association
“Keeping alcohol out of the hands of underage youth is a top priority at the New York State Liquor Authority,” Vincent G. Bradley, Chairman of the New York State Liquor Authority said. “Therefore, we are committed to working on the front lines to ensure alcohol is sold and purchased responsibly by adults only.”
“One bad decision, like using a fake ID at a bar or getting behind the wheel of a car after a few drinks, can have lifelong consequences, which is why it’s important we continue to work together to raise awareness and keep alcohol out of the hands of young adults,” NYS DMV Executive Deputy Commissioner and Acting Chair of the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee Terri Egan said. “DMV and GTSC are proud to partner with SLA on the ‘No Excuses’ campaign, and in other events and joint investigations throughout the year, with the common goal of deterring underage drinking and keeping New Yorkers safe.”
“Seventy-five percent of high school seniors in New York State have used alcohol,” NYS OASAS Commissioner Arlene González-Sánchez said. “This underage use puts our young people at risk for addiction later on in life. Delaying alcohol use can help prevent substance abuse and addiction down the road.”
“New York youth under the legal age to purchase alcohol should be on notice that the SLA and the spirits industry are united in our commitment to fight underage drinking,” Ralph Blackman, president and CEO of Responsibility.org said. “Year after year, family and friends continue to be a leading source of alcohol for today’s youth, so this campaign is a message to parents, too. Parents are the leading influence on their teen's decision to drink – or not to drink – alcohol, and the ‘No Excuses’ campaign provides a great opportunity for parents to start the conversation with their teens and let them know that underage drinking is dangerous and will not be tolerated.”
The SLA has dramatically intensified enforcement actions to crack down on sales to minors in addition to providing education to licensees on their responsibilities. SLA prosecutions for underage sales are up 50 percent since 2010, while the number of licensees and their staff completing the Alcohol Training Awareness Program to prevent underage sales has increased by over 150 percent over the same time period.
The SLA and DMV are integral members of the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee, which funds initiatives to deter underage drinking and keep New York’s roadways safe. This includes Operation Prevent, which is aimed at reducing underage drinking and the use of fake IDs. During Operation Prevent sweeps, DMV investigators work year-round with local law enforcement and in targeted details with the SLA to check identification documents and keep underage patrons from obtaining alcohol at bars, drinking establishments, convenience stores, concerts, and events. Governor Cuomo announced in January that Operation Prevent efforts in 2015 resulted in nearly 760 arrests and the seizure of more than 750 fraudulent documents.
The GTSC also recently spearheaded the “No Empty Chair” teen driving safety education and enforcement campaign to raise awareness of the highway dangers associated with teen drinking.
The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility is a national not-for-profit that leads the fight to eliminate drunk driving and underage drinking and is funded by the following distillers: Bacardi U.S.A., Inc.; Beam Suntory Inc.; Brown-Forman; Constellation Brands, Inc.; DIAGEO; Edrington; Hood River Distillers, Inc.; and Pernod Ricard USA. For 25 years, Responsibility.org has transformed countless lives through programs that bring individuals, families and communities together to guide a lifetime of conversations around alcohol responsibility. To learn more, please visit: Responsibility.org.
08/16/2016 | Albany Ny
GOVERNOR CUOMO LAUNCHES "NO EXCUSES" CAMPAIGN TO COMBAT UNDERAGE DRINKING IN NEW YORK
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