Glenn R. Bruno, Esq.
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Working Hard to Protect Your Rights As a Poughkeepsie criminal defense attorney, I have been serving the people of the Hudson Valley for more than 20 years through diligent, assertive and quality criminal defense. I am prepared to put my experience to work for you.

New York governor signs tough new DUI bill

Laws to combat drunk driving in New York became more strict after Governor Cuomo signed a bill on August 2 that strengthened Leandra's Law, which was passed in 2009. The 2009 law was named after a child who was killed in a car being driven by a drunk driver and made DUI a felony if children were present in the vehicle. The law also required interlock devices to be fitted to the cars of people convicted of DUI.

An interlock device works in the same way as a Breathalyzer, and it prevents a vehicle from starting if it detects alcohol in the driver's breath. However, thousands of people convicted of drunk driving have avoided installing the device by claiming that they no longer own a car. The new bill closes this loophole by requiring that offenders swear in court if they have disposed of the vehicle. They will also face criminal charges, including perjury, if they are found to have lied.

The bill also increases the minimum license suspension from six months to a year for drivers who don't have an interlock device installed, and it makes a DUI offense while driving with a conditional license a felony punishable by a year or more in prison. An unclear provision in the 2009 law relating to drivers under the age of 18 was also clarified in the new bill. Younger offenders will now face the same interlock requirements as older drivers.

The new law is further evidence of the tough position that New York is taking against drunk driving, and people accused of DUI in the state face severe penalties. An attorney experienced in this area may be able to explain the different options available and what the consequences of each could be.

Source: New York Daily News, "Gov. Cuomo to close loopholes in drunken-driving Leandra's Law ", Glenn Blain and Kenneth Lovett, August 25, 2013

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