Makes vehicular manslaughter in the first and second degrees, class B and class C felonies, respectively.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the penal law, in relation to making vehicular manslaughter in the first and second degrees class B and class C felonies, respectively
PURPOSE OF BILL: To deter people from deliberately intoxicating themselves before operating a motor vehicle.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1: Amends closing paragraph of section 125.12 of the Penal Law, equating vehicular manslaughter in the second degree to a class C felony.
Section 2: Amends closing paragraph of section 125.13 of the Penal Law, equating vehicular manslaughter in the first degree to a class B felony.
Section 3: Effective date of bill.
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.
Just recently in Lewiston, NY, a motorcyclists, passenger was thrown from the motorcycle following a collision with a pick-up truck. The driver of the motorcycle was found to be intoxicated and suffered minor injuries. The passenger died as a result of being thrown from the motorcycle following the collision.
The true tragedy of vehicular murder is that innocent people are murdered, just like the passenger on the motorcycle. 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 27t of fatal crashes caused by alcohol-impaired drivers. In addition, a 2007 National Roadside Survey (IRS) (the first of its kind to estimate a national representation of the prevalence of potentially impairing drug use by drivers) determined 16t 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. It is sad to know innocent lives are being taken away by inappropriate and reckless actions of intoxicated and/or drugimpaired drivers where preventive measures could be established. By increasing both felonies one class, it is our intent to deter people from deliberately intoxicating themselves and operating a motor vehicle.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2011-2012: S.4930 Referred to Codes Committee
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: Shall take effect on the first of November next succeeding the date it shall become a law.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 3365 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE February 1, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sen. ADDABBO -- 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 making vehicular manslaughter in the first and second degrees class B and class C felo- nies, respectively THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The closing paragraph of section 125.12 of the penal law, as amended by chapter 732 of the laws of 2006, is amended to read as follows: Vehicular manslaughter in the second degree is a class
[D]C felony. S 2. The closing paragraph of section 125.13 of the penal law, as amended by chapter 496 of the laws of 2009, is amended to read as follows: Vehicular manslaughter in the first degree is a class [C]B felony. S 3. This act shall take effect on the first of November next succeed- ing the date on which it shall have become a law.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD08331-01-3