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Impaired Driving Repeat Offender Measure Introduced By Lowey, Latimer

Elected officials introduced legislation to curtail impaired driving in the region.
Elected officials introduced legislation to curtail impaired driving in the region. Photo Credit: Westchester County Government via Twitter

With the Memorial Day weekend here, elected officials are warning drivers not to drink and drive while introducing new proposed legislation to curtail impaired driving.

Westchester County Executive George Latimer joined Congresswoman Nita Lowey on Friday afternoon, May 24 in front of the Westchester County Stop DWI Simulator to urge responsible and safe driving over the holiday week and throughout the summer.

In addition to the warning to “drive sober or get pulled over,” Lowey also announced the Impaired Driving Repeat Offender Prevention Act. This bill would require states to mandate the installation of an ignition interlock device in vehicles operated by those who have DWI convictions for at least 180 days.

“When an incident of impaired driving occurs, its impacts ripple outward and affect not just those involved in the incident, but their families, friends, and the community at large,” White Plains Public Safety Commissioner David Chong said. “We need to do everything within our power to curb impaired driving. Congresswoman Lowey's legislation takes a common-sense approach to this problem, and I applaud her for her efforts.”

According to Lowey, the proposed fiscal year 2020 transportation spending bill supports these efforts and would provide $5 million for critical research and development, modernizing drunk driving prevention technology through the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS) program.

“While tougher laws have helped save lives, drunk driving still kills far too many people across the Lower Hudson Valley,” she noted. “From 2013 to 2017, Westchester and Rockland lost 55 residents to alcohol-impaired driving.

“In addition to warm weather and fun in the pool and at the beach, the summer months also, unfortunately, bring the 100 deadliest days of the year for drunk driving. In 2017, an estimated 10,874 people were killed in drunk driving crashes in the United States. This horrifying statistic is amplified by this truth: drunk driving is 100 percent preventable. And while drunk driving even once is too many times, we should not allow convicted offenders to repeat those mistakes.”

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