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Cuomo proposes DWI crackdown
Rochester, N.Y. -- In todays State of the State, Governor Cuomo said there are 47,000 licensed New Yorkers with three or more DWI convictions. He wants repeat offenders to lose their licenses for good.
People we spoke with today fear the changes wont prevent drunk drivers from much, but it shows a greater effort to deal with a consistent problem.
Anything the government can do to make it tougher on the individuals, we are 100% behind, says Geri Spino, mother of Scott Spino.
Scott Spino was killed by a drunk driver nine years ago, a person who was a repeat offender.
Governor Cuomo wants drunk drivers with two convictions in five years to lose their licenses for five years. Three convictions and drivers would lose it for good.
I have Scotts picture by my bed, so its the first thing I see in the morning and the last thing I see at night, said Geri Spino. It doesnt matter if it was 10 years ago, if it was 5 years ago.
The difference between these new penalties has to do with the timing of previous convictions.
Theres no time limitation here, says DWI Bureau Chief, Ray Benitez. it doesnt limit how far you can go back historically.
This affects law abiding citizens who want to drive legally, but appears to do nothing for enforcement.
Its a great thing, but the problem with DWIs is you know, take their licenses away and they drive anyways, says Jerry Spino, Scotts father.
The injured party may have no recovery, theres potential unintended consequences of this, says Michael McNelis, attorney at Fiandach and Fiandach.
It doesnt keep them from driving but if we make the penalties a little harsher, it may make a few people think twice, says Benitez.
Benitez says lawmakers should seek tougher sentences for drunk drivers.