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Former Traffic Court Judge Serving New York and New Jersey

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MADD: New York’s DUI child endangerment laws are ideal

It is widely known that Mothers Against Drunk Driving is an organization that aims to strengthen DUI laws and penalties. In New York and across the country, there are statutes that dictate legal limits for blood alcohol content as well as the consequences of a DWI conviction. MADD recently rated the states based on their efforts to reduce the incidence rate of drunk driving, finding New York to hold model laws in one specific area.

New York received four stars on MADD’s five-star rating system, according to the report released in January. The report takes five DUI countermeasures into account: sobriety checkpoints, no-refusal events, license revocation, child endangerment laws and ignition interlock laws. A state will receive a star for every topic area for which it has legislation.

When it comes to child endangerment laws, MADD determined that New York has a model system in place. So far, 46 states as well as the District of Columbia have similar laws that consider it to be child abuse if someone is convicted of a DUI with a child in the car.

A spokesperson for MADD says the organization’s priorities include passing strict ignition interlock laws that would make the devices mandatory for every offender in the country. MADD often works with legislators in order to get harsh DUI penalties passed. Anyone who is facing a DUI charge should consult with an attorney. Fighting a charge is an important part of preserving a criminal record and driving record in addition to avoiding severe consequences such as prison.

Source: USA Today, “How is your state doing? MADD rates USA on drunk driving prevention,” Lori Grisham, Jan. 15, 2015

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