Assemblyman Weisenberg Honored by New York State STOP-DWI Coordinators’ Association
October 18, 2011
Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg (D-Long Beach) was chosen by the New York State STOP-DWI Coordinators’ Association as its recipient of the Senator William T. Smith Award at the Highway Safety Symposium in Hauppauge. The New York Highway Safety Symposium brings together highway safety professionals from across New York State to share, promote and educate highway safety initiatives through a combined effort. This year, they carefully selected the Assemblyman due to his long-standing record of excellence in the fight against drunk driving. “It is a tremendous honor to be selected for this award,” said Weisenberg. “I served as a police officer in Long Beach and have seen firsthand the damage that drunk driving can cause. The fight against drunk driving is one that I take very seriously and is of utmost importance. I’ll continue to do all that I can to stop it.” The award was given based on Weisenberg’s initiatives on the issue, including sponsoring Leandra’s Law, making it a Class E felony to operate a vehicle while intoxicated with a child as a passenger (Ch. 496 of 2009). The law also requires that all individuals who have been convicted of misdemeanor and felony DWI offenses install and maintain an ignition interlock device. In the two years since the law went into effect, there have been 1,550 arrests in the state and over 700 convictions.1 Weisenberg has a long record of authoring and securing passage of several laws that make our roads safer. Jack Shea’s Law (Chapter 169 of 2010) removed a barrier to blood alcohol testing; Katie’s Law (Chapter 345 of 2007) created the felony crimes of aggravated vehicular assault and vehicular homicide; and Christopher’s Law (Chapter 49 of 2005) ended an anomaly in law where leaving the scene of an accident was a lesser charge than DWI.