Drunk drivers in New York watch out, the rules just changed. Thanks to new regulations announced by Governor Cuomo yesterday if you have at least three alcohol or drug related driving convictions over a 25-year period and then get just one more "serious driving offense" you will permanently lose your driver's license. Same goes if you rack up five booze or drug related convictions in your lifetime.
"We are saying 'enough is enough' to those who have chronically abused their driving privileges and threatened the safety of other drivers, passengers and pedestrians," Governor Cuomo said yesterday, echoing arguments made in previous pushes for similar laws that driving is not a right but a privilege. "This comprehensive effort will make New York safer, by keeping these drivers off our roadways," he went on.
What constitutes a "serious driving offense?" According to the Governor's office that would be "a fatal crash, a driving-related penal law conviction, an accumulation of 20 or more points assessed for driving violations within the last 25 years, or having two or more driving convictions each worth five points or higher."
If drivers have three or four drug or booze related convictions but don't have a serious driving offense in the past 25 years, there are still consequences. Those can include having license reinstatement requests denied, having them accepted but "restricted" to travel to and from work or medical visits and/or requiring that an interlock be installed on the driver's vehicle.
Hard to get upset about this, either. Every year drunk driving in New York kills more than 300 and injures more than 6,000 on our highways, according to the Governor. The DMV estimates that because of the new regulations roughly 20,000 drivers will have their licenses permanently revoked or delayed this year.