NY gov: Up penalty on DWI drivers who risk kids
(AP) - New York Gov. David Paterson is responding to the wrong-way crash that killed eight people with a proposed law aimed at drunk drivers who endanger children.
Paterson announced Thursday that he's proposing legislation making it a felony to drive while intoxicated with children in the car. The bill would up the penalty for the crime to up to four years in state prison.
Currently drivers who commit the crime are charged with a misdemeanor and a vehicular violation.
Thirty-five other states have laws that impose higher DWI sanctions against those who place a child passenger at risk.
In 2007 there were nearly 9,500 accidents related to drunk driving in New York State with 344 resulting in death. Nearly 200 of those killed or injured were under the age of 14.