Close to a million people will gather in Times Square this weekend to watch the ball drop and celebrate the beginning of a new year. Even though alcohol is prohibited on the city streets, the number of people gathered in one place along with the alcohol served in local establishments increases the risks involved for New York accidents. Our New York personal injury attorneys want to remind you to be safe as you venture out and enjoy the biggest celebration New York has to offer this weekend.
In 2009, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration using the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) reported 5 fatalities in New York when at least one of the crash victims had a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) level of .08 or higher on New Years Eve and Day. Nationally there were 156 fatalities on these same two holidays when the BAC level was over the legal limit to drive.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) campaigns pretty fiercely around the holidays because they know the likelihood of an alcohol related accident is higher when there are parties and family gatherings to attend. MADD advocates are also well versed in the law and the penalties that apply for drunk driver vehicular homicide which varies from state to state. MADD relays New York penalty is 0-15 years. A second degree offense (Class D felony) could be up to 7 years in jail and/or up to a $5,000 fine. If a driver’s BAC is over .18 the vehicular manslaughter charge is considered a first degree Class C felony where sentencing can be up to 15 years and/or up to a $15,000 fine.
If you have questions and need answers about drinking and driving a good source to refer to is New York State Department of Motor Vehicle. The website offers detailed answers to questions like:
-Why are the consequences for drinking and driving so extreme?
-How much alcohol consumption does it take to affect my driving?
-Do all age groups face the same penalties?
-Can I refuse to take the sobriety test if I am pulled over?
In order to start 2011 off on the right foot take the necessary steps to remain safe. Don’t drink and drive. Better yet, offer to be the designated driver so you and your friends or loved ones can increase the chances of getting home safely after bringing in the New Year.
The Law Offices of Nicholas Rose would like to wish you a safe and prosperous New Year. If you or someone you know have been involved in a New York DUI accident, call 877-313-ROSE for a free consultation.