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Legislation creating stricter penalties for drivers with multiple DWIs signed by governor

ALBANY - Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation creating Vince’s Law, an amendment to current law that extends the time frame in which multiple DWIs can be considered to automatically invoke a felony.

“Motorists who repeatedly drive drunk are a danger to themselves and everyone else on the road, and they have no place behind the wheel,” Governor Cuomo said. “Vince’s Law will keep these reckless individuals out of the driver’s seat and help prevent future tragedies from occurring. I thank the sponsors of this bill for their help in combatting drunk driving and am proud to sign this bill into law today.”

Named after Vincent Russo, who died after being struck head-on by a driver with multiple DWIs, Vincent’s Law aims to keep repeat offenders off the road. In Mr. Russo’s case, the offending driver had five prior DWI offenses and was not yet incarcerated.

This legislation will raise the penalty levels for offenders who commit three or more DWI-related offenses within 15 years, with a maximum determinate prison sentence of up to 7 years in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000—where previously such repeat offenses might not have been prosecuted as a felony at all.

The law passed both houses of the legislature as S7108 and A8021-A, respectively.