The New York Senate is close to approving a measure which would increase penalties for those who are convicted of three or more DUI offenses within a 15-year period.
The bill, nicknamed ‘Vince’s Law,’ was inspired by the case of Vincent Russo who was killed by a drunk driver with five previous DUI-related convictions. According to Senator John DeFrancisco, “Vincent Russo was tragically killed by a drunk driver, whose blood alcohol content was four times the legal limit, and was free awaiting sentencing for a fifth DWI violation…It’s a complete outrage that Michael Iannettoni was not behind bars because a fatal car crash could have been avoided.” DeFrancisco particularly praised Russo’s brother Paul, who has worked tirelessly to pass ‘Vince’s Law.’ Paul is pleased by the bill’s outcome, stating that “we have all been working diligently on this issue…I am happy that we have passed legislation that could help prosecutors throughout New York state, and in some way pay tribute to my late brother.”
The bill states that an individual who commits a DUI offense three or more times prior to a DWI conviction will be charged with a class D felony. A class D felony carries much harsher penalties, including prison time and a fine of up to $10,000.
With the Senate passing the legislation, it now awaits the signature of Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Rights for Victims of DUI Accidents
In New York, a driver can be charged with driving while intoxicated if their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .08 percent or more. If an individual is convicted of driving under the influence, that criminal case can be used as evidence in a personal injury case for those who were injured due to the driver’s behavior. Those who have been injured by a drunk driver can face a wide range of problems, including high medical costs, loss of income due to the inability to work, and pain and suffering. If someone is killed by a drunk driver, the victim’s family may be able to pursue the case as a wrongful death lawsuit.
For over 40 years, the Fitzgerald Law Firm in New York has been aggressively pursuing payment of damages by drunk drivers and others who willfully and recklessly injure and kill innocent people. With the passage of new legislation, like Vince’s Law, the Fitzgerald Law Firm and other personal injury attorneys may have even more power to show juries just how damaging a drunk driver can be. If you or a loved one have been injured due to the negligence of a drunk driver, seek the experienced legal help of the team of personal injury attorneys at Fitzgerald Law Firm.