A recent study reveals that New York State is ranked number 30 out of all 50 states in strictness on DUI offenses. The study reveals that Arizona, Alaska, Connecticut, West Virginia, and Kansas are the strictest states on DUI, while South Dakota, the District of Columbia, Pennsylvania, North Dakota and Maryland are the most lenient states for DUI.
Sadly, 10,000 Americans die each year as the result of individuals driving under the influence of alcohol. Statistics show that 31 percent of all motor vehicle fatalities were the result of impaired drivers in 2012. It is also estimated that impaired driving costs the U.S. economy $60 billion each year. Despite these staggering statistics, many continue to drive while drunk.
Many state law makers have ramped up their efforts to create and enforce stricter penalties for those who commit DUI offenses. For example, Arizona has the longest minimum jail time for first time offenders, set at 10 days. Likewise, West Virginia has the longest sentence for second time offenders set at 180 days. However, some states are falling behind. The study shows that New York law requires no minimum jail time for a first-time or second-time DUI offense. However, a DUI is considered a felony after the second offense. In New York, a DUI offense will also remain on your criminal record for 10 years and your license will be suspended for a month.
Should the Penalties Be Harsher?
Some feel that New York should re-evaluate its DUI penalties and make them harsher to deter drivers from committing the offense. Statistics pertaining to the state of New York reveal that in 2013, 30.4 percent of all traffic deaths were the result of a drunk driver. In total, there were 6,019 injuries from DUI-related crashes. Despite these high numbers, lawmakers have not changed the penalties for DUI like other states who are cracking down on it.
If you have been the victim of a drunk driver and now suffer a serious injury, a long road to recovery, high medical bills, lost income and pain and suffering, it is important to know that you have legal rights you can exercise to hold the drunk driver responsible. While the driver may not face jail time, you can seek compensation for your injuries. To have the best chance at winning your suit, contact the skilled personal injury attorneys at the Fitzgerald Law Firm in New York.