New regulations have been announced that are meant to keep drivers with multiple convictions of alcohol or drug related offenses off the road. Lori Chung has more.
NEW YORK STATE -- “Someone is going to wake up and say wow, I just don’t have to go through the dance?” hopes Ed Frank, as the DMV introduces tough new rules to make it harder for repeat DWI offenders to hold on to their licenses.
The headquarters of Choices 301, a safe driving program, is a gallery of the devastation drunk drivers can cause.
“That’s real life, that’s what people deal with,” said Frank.
To prevent that, DMV officials will now look at the entire record for drivers seeking reinstatement after a revocation. Five or more DWI convictions means an automatic lifetime denial and the same goes for three convictions with a serious accident. The new rules come just after a Westerlo man was arrested for allegedly showing up to a DWI victim impact panel where Frank was speaking, allegedly drunk behind the wheel.
“It’s total frustration,” said Frank.
The new policy is drawing praise from Assemblyman Jim Tedisco who had pushed his own bill against dangerous drivers. He says these new rules are a good first step.
"It does send a heightened message now. You’re not going to play that game where you get a good lawyer and you go before the Department of Motor Vehicles, but you appeal and get your license back. You repeat this over and over again. So it will be a deterrent to some individuals," Tedisco.
State data shows that licensed drivers with three or more DWI convictions account for 500 fatal accidents. These new regulations go into effect immediately and are expected to affect 20,000 drivers.