It's horrifying to think that a school bus driver might be drunk on the job. It's almost beyond belief. Yet, a school bus driver on Long Island was recently charged with a DUI after his school bus crashed right into someone's home, and a blood test revealed he was indeed intoxicated.
According to statistics from state officials, over 300 people are killed and another 6,000 people are injured in drunk driving crashes on New York highways every year. Furthermore, over 50,000 drivers with valid or suspended licenses currently have three or more alcohol-related convictions, while more than 22,000 drunk driving car accidents resulting in 500 fatalities and other serious injuries have been caused by drivers with at least three or more alcohol-related convictions.
Thanks to certain technological advancements, global positioning systems are now standard equipment in many cars, trucks and buses. In fact, these GPS devices have now evolved to such a degree that they can instantaneously find the fastest route to a particular location, identify where traffic has slowed to a crawl and inform the user of existing vehicle traffic laws.
Yesterday, Allstate Insurance Company released its eighth annual report ranking the 200 largest U.S. cities according to which ones have the best and worst drivers. However, "worst" here does not mean those cities where drivers violate the vehicle traffic laws with greater frequency or fail to understand the rules of the road. Rather, it means how accident-prone the drivers in a particular city happen to be.
It's important to realize that a conviction for DUI/DWI here in New York can have dramatic consequences that extend beyond the criminal law realm. For instance, convicted drunk drivers face suspended licenses, ignition interlock devices and even increased insurance premiums. In fact, the lobbyist wife of a 10-term congressman learned this the hard way just last week.
At this very moment, people here in the state of New York and across the country are busy navigating crowded highways and interstates in an attempt to make their way to a favorite vacation destination for the July 4th holiday.
Last May, our blog discussed how one of the more prominent law enforcement agencies in all of New York City -- the Bronx District Attorney's Office -- was under fire for perhaps providing favorable treatment to a fellow prosecutor who was arrested for DUI.
It's happened to quite a few of us. You have to jump behind the wheel of your car and rush to work, school, the airport or a doctor's appointment because you were either late getting up or simply lost track of time. However, if you tried a little too hard to make up for lost time while navigating roads and freeways, you may have found yourself in the crosshairs of a law enforcement official who is more than willing to give you a speeding ticket.
It is no secret that getting convicted of drunk driving can lead to serious penalties. Even a first-time offender in New York will have to pay several hundred dollars in a fine and face up to one year in prison.
The DUI laws here in the state of New York can be extremely unforgiving when it comes to driving privileges. To illustrate, first-time offenders face not only steep fines, but also driver's license suspension and even the installation of an ignition interlock device.