Texting and DWI legislation in New York Retroactive?
Governor Cuomo’s proposal as it pertains to Texting and DWI (see the link to his press release below) will double the license suspension, from 6 months to one year, for anyone under 21 convicted of texting while driving. By contrast, a first time Driving while Intoxicated conviction “only” garners a 6 month revocation. While the Governor only mentions Texing while driving, most all of the New York State Traffic Law makes talking on a cell phone while driving the same as texing while driving. Both talking on a cell phone and texting while driving carry 5 points.
Another aggressive legislative initiative proposes a five year driver’s license revocation for anyone convicted of driving drunk twice within a three year period and to permanently revoke the license of those convicted of drunk driving three times in their lives.The main concern with this proposed legislation is whether it will Retroactive or not.
Last year, in 2013, the State of New York enacted regulations that imposed stricter drunk driving suspension thresholds and tougher penalties retroactively in cases which were already closed. This caused a wide spread of licenses revocations against people who have had DWI convictions up to 25 years ago and who were promised at the time of the sentence (and even judges who needed to sentence!) or motorists which plead guilty to or that they were convicted DWI that they would not face such long reaching penalties. As you can clearly see, this is a perversion of justice. I am therefor concerned about Cuomo’s announcement of his continuing to improve upon our legal system and new Texting and DWI penalties.
For the official press release from Governor Cuomo see http://www.governor.ny.gov/press/01082014-agenda-outline-for-2014