Drunk Driving Accidents
A study conducted by the National Institute of Health found that there are over 31 million incidents of drinking and driving on New York roads each year. The probability of being arrested for drinking and driving is 1 in 500, and the study supported that the penalties for first-time offenses and education on the dangers of drinking and driving are inadequate.
New York State has reduced its rate of drunk driving fatalities by 61% and even though the state government’s approach has shown results it still hasn’t put a dent in the overall problem. Drunk driving is a major concern for safety on the highways and about one out of every three accidents involves an alcohol-impaired driver.
Problems Created by Drunk Driving
Each day 29 people die in an alcohol-impaired motor vehicle accident, that’s one death every 50 minutes. Alcohol-related crashes end up costing 44 billion dollars each year. In the year 2016, alcohol-related deaths accounted for 28% of all motor vehicle fatalities, accounting for more than 10,000 deaths. Of all the traffic-related deaths involving children ages 0-14, 17% of them involved an alcohol-impaired motorist.
New York Drunk Driving Penalties
Driving under the influence of alcohol or other narcotics is a punishable offense according to the New York State Law. Impaired driving negatively affects your judgment, coordination, and ability to operate a vehicle with focus, attentiveness, and awareness. Your level of impairment can and will be affected by the following conditions:
- How much alcohol you drink
- How much food you consume before and during your alcohol consumption
- How long you were consuming alcohol
- Your gender
- Your body weight
There are several types of drinking and driving-related violations in the state of New York:
- Driving W]hile Intoxicated: Having a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of 0.08 or higher and 0.04 for commercial vehicle drivers.
- Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated: Driving with a BAC of 0.18 or higher.
- Driving While Ability Impaired by Alcohol: Driving with a BAC higher than 0.05 but less than 0.07.
- Chemical Test Refusal: Refusing to adhere to a breathalyzer test or blood or urine screen.
- Zero Tolerance: When a driver under the legal drinking age of 21 is operating a motor vehicle with a BAC of 0.02 to 0.07.
Prevent Drunk Driving in New York
In New York State the penalties for drunk driving include fines, loss of driving privileges, and possibly jail time. Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated (ADWI) fines can range from $1,000 to $10,000 and possible jail sentencing up to seven years depending on how many times you’ve committed the offense. ADWI can also result in your license being suspended anywhere from 1 year to 18 months. Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) can result in a mandatory fine from $1,000 to $10,000, up to seven years imprisonment, and having your license revoked for at least six months to a year.
If a driver under the age of 21 violates the Zero Tolerance Law one or more times, then they are subject to fines up to $500 and could have their license revoked for up to 18 months. Refusing a chemical test can result in fines up to $750 and also having your license revoked for up to 18 months.
The New York Government has outlined the policies to prevent their citizens from being victims of drunk driving including:
- Sobriety Checkpoints
- Ignition Interlocks
- Interventions with Multiple Components
- Mass Media Campaigns
- Laws that include fines, sentencing, and license suspension
- Alcohol Screening with brief interventions conducted by law enforcement
- School-Based Instruction
Though the state of New York is doing a lot to prevent drunk-driving accidents, the numbers reflect that they may not be doing enough. If you or a family member have been a victim of a preventable drunk driving accident, then contact an attorney adept in the intricacies of New York Drunk Driving Law.