Gov. Cuomo signs harsher law for repeat DWI offenses in New York

When someone in New York is convicted of driving while intoxicated, they are likely aware of the potential punishments they may face. What they might not be privy to is what could happen to them if they are charged more than once with a DWI. Governor Cuomo recently signed a law that gives judges the power to enforce stricter punishments on those with multiple DWIs in their history, and it has the potential to severely affect many in the state.

The new law is an amendment that provides for those who are convicted of more than one DWI in a 15-year period to have the charge raised to a felony. The previous law only applied to those who had more than one DWI within 10 years. A conviction under these new terms lengthens the potential jail time to seven years and allows judges to impose fines up to $10,000.

The amendment is named “Vince’s Law,” and police say they hope it will minimize incidents of intoxicated driving. It has received support from several lawmakers and the general public prior to its recent signing by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. They are hopeful that it will send a message to anyone that might be affected by this law that repeat offenses will not be tolerated.

Those who are unfortunate enough to face multiple drunk driving charges could be negatively affected by this new law. The potential incarceration or fine may also accompany the revocation of the accused’s license. For these reasons, it is important that those charged with DWI are aware that prosecutors will take this crime very seriously and make use of any available evidence to obtain a conviction. Having a thorough understanding of one’s case and the possible fallout may help one properly prepare their defense against the charges.

Source:, "Repeat DWI Offenders Face Stricter Penalties Under New Law", Rashed Mian, Aug. 2, 2014

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