Proposed Law Tough on Repeat Driving Offenders

The New York state legislature is making a second pass at a "three-strikes" law covering some driving offenses. The law now being pushed in the Assembly is called "Charlotte's Law" after a pedestrian who was killed in a crosswalk in 2010. The pedestrian's former daughter-in-law is a retired safety analyst for the New York Department of Motor Vehicles.

The 2011 version of the bill was passed in the Senate but did not make it through the Assembly. With bipartisan support this time, the bill is more likely to become law.

Offenses Covered

The proposed law would take away the driver's license forever from anyone convicted three times of a serious driving offense. The offenses that would count toward the three strikes include:

  • DUI or DWI
  • vehicular manslaughter
  • causing an accident in which another person receives serious personal injury

Serious Consequences

Driving after losing a driver's license under the proposed law would be a felony punishable by up to four years' incarceration.

Termination of driving privileges, and possible jail time for driving after termination, are starkly harsher penalties than those now in effect. The woman whose death inspired "Charlotte's Law" was killed by a driver who had been involved in 10 accidents previously and had been cited 23 times for driving offenses. That driver received a one-year license revocation and a $100 fine.

If the bill becomes law, drivers who are cited for DUI or DWI, or are involved in an accident where there are injuries or death, will need a competent attorney more than ever. With the ability to drive at stake, it will be important to avoid receiving a conviction for any of the "three-strike" offenses.