Building on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s efforts last month to enhance public safety by using executive authority to ban the sale of synthetic marijuana, Assemblyman Jim Tedisco (R,C,I-Schenectady-Saratoga) today asked the Governor and New York State Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner Barbara Fiala to use their administrative powers to permanently terminate driver license privileges for serial drunk and dangerous drivers.
In February, Tedisco and Senator Hugh Farley (R,C,I-Niskayuna) introduced “3-Strikes and You’re Out” legislation (A.8934A/S.6496) to permanently terminate all driving privileges of an individual convicted of a combination of three or more of the following: a conviction for DWI/DUI; actions causing an accident where there is serious personal injury to another and the person who hit them is at fault; or vehicular manslaughter.
Currently, there is no provision in state law that permanently terminates driving privileges for those who are chronic drunk, drugged and/or dangerous drivers.
“The Governor was right to ban synthetic marijuana, and now I’m asking the Administration to take the same public-safety-first approach by saying to incorrigible drunk and dangerous drivers: ‘Three strikes and you’re out. You lose your driving license privileges forever,” said Tedisco, former Minority Leader and current Assistant Minority Whip.
“It’s been said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Is it any surprise that serial drunk and dangerous drivers continue to wreak havoc and carnage on our streets when the state enables them to keep getting their driver’s licenses again and again? Addiction to drugs and alcohol is a difficult illness to overcome; those that suffer from it deserve help, but our concern and compassion for them can’t override our obligation to keep chronic drunk and dangerous drivers off our highways and protect innocent, law-abiding citizens and their families,” said Tedisco.
Among other cases, Tedisco’s 3-strikes bill, known as “Charlotte’s Law,” was inspired by the family of Charlotte Gallo, a senior citizen from Schenectady, New York, who was killed by a vehicle failing to yield to a pedestrian near Proctor’s Theatre on January 2, 2010. Charlotte was leaving Proctors after a night of volunteering for the organization. The individual driving the vehicle had a long history of dangerous driving and had what a judge called an “appalling driving background.”
Editor’s Note: Click here for Tedisco’s letter to the Governor and DMV Commissioner.