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Still Gaps in NY State Drunk Driving Laws

Published December 6, 2011 by Scott Gottlieb, Injury Law Attorney

With the start of the holiday season, work and family parties are in full swing. New York law enforcement is aware that many of these include alcohol and are already increasing their presence to deter drinking and driving.

Our NY personal injury attorneys encourage anyone out partying this holiday season to arrange for a designated driver or help their friends by being a designated driver. All drivers in Binghamton should be extra cautious and alert for drivers who may be driving while impaired and to checkpoints and drivers who may be pulled over.

New York ranks a respectable 11th out of 51 states and DC counting down to the highest rate of traffic fatalities that involve alcohol. Mother’s Against Drunk Driving (MADD) reports that 28% of fatal NY car wrecks in 2009 involved a drunk driver. The organization reported 327 deaths were the direct result of drinking and driving.

Law enforcement agencies across the country recognize the dangers this time of year and frequently engage in programs and campaigns to warn those who will be drinking to stay out of the driver seat.

In NY, drivers can expect to see greater numbers of law enforcement vehicles, checkpoints and public relations campaigns.

These tools are part of the goal of deterring drinkers from endangering lives rather than punishing an intoxicated partier who has already chosen to get behind the wheel.

Following are highlights of some enforcement tools that NY law officers utilize:

  • Checkpoints. Sobriety checkpoints in NY follow US Supreme Court guidelines that require a specific number of vehicles be stopped to avoid profiling. One can expect that every third or fourth vehicle would be stopped and the driver questioned for signs of impairment. Research indicates that an 18-24% reduction in drinking and driving fatalities has been seen from these checkpoints.
  • Saturation patrol. Law enforcement will increase their efforts by observing moving violations from speeders and aggressive drivers. Typically these types of behaviors occur by impaired drivers who are unable to react or respond as quickly to signs and changes in conditions.
  • Roving patrol. Similar to a saturation patrol, which targets impaired drivers by observing moving violations, but it is not necessarily a stepped-up effort.

In 2009, MADD helped lobby to get Leandra’s Law passed that makes it a felony to drive drunk with a passenger 15-years and under in the car. NY is one of few states that has this law, but MADD believes other laws that strengthen penalties for drunk drivers could further deter drivers from driving drunk.

Our NY injury attorneys suggest Binghamton residents contact their state legislator to toughen up our drunk driving laws to help keep our families and loved ones safe over the holidays.

Contact Our Binghamton Injury Law Attorneys Today

Experience counts. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries due to an intoxicated driver in a New York car accident, contact Scott C. Gottlieb, Injury Law Attorney, to help. Our New York personal injury law office handles all types of accident, injury and medical malpractice cases.

As you work on recovering from your injuries, let our Binghamton, New York accident attorney’s office take care of the rest, including the paperwork, insurance documents and other legal issues related to your accident. Contact our personal injury attorney today! There is no charge for the consultation.

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