Bill S1256-2011

Increases the penalty for vehicular manslaughter to a class A-I felony

Increases the penalties of vehicular manslaughter to a class A-I felonies.

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  • Jan 4, 2012: REFERRED TO CODES
  • Jan 6, 2011: REFERRED TO CODES

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S1256

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the penal law, in relation to the crime of vehicular manslaughter, and to repeal certain provisions of the penal law relating thereto

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: Equating vehicular manslaughter to the maximum allowable fine based on the premise of putting others in harm way when knowingly one intoxicates themselves through drugs and alcohol.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: This legislation would amend section 125.12 of the penal law, classifying vehicular manslaughter in the second degree as an A-I felony from a class D, and repeal section 125.13 of the penal law.

JUSTIFICATION: Vehicle manslaughter is the killing of another human without intent or malice through means of a motor vehicle. When a person deliberately intoxicates themselves through drugs or alcohol and operates a motor vehicle, that person has committed a premeditated act. The motor vehicle itself becomes as deadly as a gun.

The true tragedy of vehicular murder is that innocent people are murdered. Vehicular tragedies often cause multiple deaths, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has a voluminous amount of statistics regarding "death by auto". A 2008 New York State analytical report showed 27% of fatal crashes caused by alcohol-impaired drivers. A 2007 National Roadside Survey (NRS), the first of its kind to estimate a national representation of the prevalence of potentially impairing drug use by drivers, determined 16% of nighttime drivers were found to be drug positive. Most commonly detected drugs were marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamine. A little over 2% of drivers on weekend nights were found to have an illegal blood alcohol content (.08 or more). When comparing fatalities between drugs and alcohol, drug-impaired driving happens far more.

For innocent lives are taken away by the inappropriate and reckless actions of intoxicated and/or drug-impaired drivers, and the concept that these actions can be prevented by mind over matter, we strongly believe amending the penal law to equate vehicular manslaughter to the highest felony is in the best interests of all motorists and pedestrians within New York State.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2009-2010: S.4694 - Referred to Codes

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall have become a law.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 1256 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE January 6, 2011 ___________
Introduced by Sens. ADDABBO, HUNTLEY -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Codes AN ACT to amend the penal law, in relation to the crime of vehicular manslaughter, and to repeal certain provisions of the penal law relat- ing thereto THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The section heading, opening paragraph and closing para- graph of section 125.12 of the penal law, as amended by chapter 732 of the laws of 2006, are amended to read as follows: Vehicular manslaughter [in the second degree]. A person is guilty of vehicular manslaughter [in the second degree] when he or she causes the death of another person, and either: Vehicular manslaughter [in the second degree] is a class [D] A-I felo- ny. S 2. Section 125.13 of the penal law is REPEALED. S 3. This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall have become a law.

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