The penalties for a DWI conviction in New York are already very serious, adversely affecting peoples’ driving privileges, careers and personal freedoms. But two New York legislators have proposed a bill that would make penalties for repeat DWI convictions even more severe.

The legislation, which was proposed by two New York lawmakers from the Schenectady area, would implement a three-strikes rule for people convicted of drunk driving. If passed, the law would permanently end the driving privileges of people who are convicted three times for DWI. The law would also apply to people who are convicted three times for driving under the influence of a substance other than alcohol, as well as for people convicted three times for being at fault in accidents that caused injuries.

The lawmakers claim the bill is intended to stop what they call serial drunk driving.

New Yorkers may know that the current state law doesn’t permanently end anyone’s driving privileges if he or she is found guilty numerous times of DWI. But if the proposed bill is passed, one thing is certain: people accused of DWI for the third time may face a very serious, life-altering judgment if convicted.

Driving privileges are an integral part of millions New Yorkers’ lives. If those privileges are terminated, the entire structure of a person’s life could be changed. A job could be lost, or the means of conducting normal family activities could be severely limited. In addition, the basic ability to get in a vehicle and move from one place to another may become a legal impossibility.

In an effort to prevent this scenario from happening, residents in Westchester County and throughout New York will want to seek the help of a legal professional who can call into question the circumstances of an arrest. Not everyone who is accused of DWI is guilty, but a strong criminal defense is nonetheless necessary to work toward the best outcome possible.

Source: Democrat and Chronicle, “Bill gives 3-strikes-you’re-out treatment to DWI,” Feb. 17, 2012