Andrew Cuomo should veto flawed hit and run bill - says Newsday

Both the NYS STOP-DWI Association and the District Attorney's Association support a veto of the bill.  Click here to view the letters of veto support that were sent to the Governor.

Newsday -- Editorial -- Updated December 3, 2015 7:19 AM
Andrew Cuomo should veto flawed hit and run bill
By The Editorial Board

There is a pressing need in New York for a law that makes the penalty
for fleeing serious accidents just as harsh as the penalty for causing
such accidents while impaired. As it stands, the disparity in penalties
is so large that it encourages fleeing, which can mean delays in medical
treatment for victims because accidents are not reported quickly.

But a bill approved by the Senate and Assembly and under review by Gov.
Andrew Cuomo does so little to fix the problem that, unless it cabn be
significantly amended, it ought to be vetoed.

Currently, drivers impaired by drugs or alcohol who leave the scene of a
fatal crash and thus avoid the medical tests that would prove their
intoxication face felony convictions for fleeing that could net them up
to seven years in prison.

The pending bill creates a new felony that ups that maximum penalty to
15 years, the same term faced by by a driver who stays at the scene and
is convicted of drunken driving.

But prosecutors say the proposed law is so full of loopholes that it’s
essentially useless, and they’re right. It would only apply when more
than one victim is killed or seriously injured, and even then only if
the deaths or injuries were caused by reckless driving, as defined by
law, and even then only if the driver who fled had a suspended or
invalid license because of a previous DWI conviction or a previous
conviction for fleeing a similar accident or a DWI conviction in the
past 10 years.

That doesn’t make any sense.