There have been far too many incidents in the Capital Region, and throughout the State, of fatal accidents involving persons who have had their driver’s license suspended and revoked multiple times. We need to break this cycle and better protect the public from these repeat offenders. This legislation makes it clear that a driver will face permanent consequences for their actions.
Among other cases, the bill, known as “Charlotte’s Law,” was inspired by the family of Charlotte Gallo, a senior citizen from Schenectady, New York, who was killed by a truck failing to yield to a pedestrian near Proctor’s Theatre on January 2, 2010. Charlotte was leaving Proctors after a night of volunteering for the organization. The individual driving the truck had a long history of dangerous driving and had what a judge called an “appalling driving background.”
We worked with Charlotte Gallo’s former daughter-in-law, Dr. Linda Rozell-Shannon to craft the bill. Dr. Rozell-Shannon is an expert on state law and Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) policy regarding drunk and dangerous drivers having served as a policy analyst for over 20 years for the New York State DMV.
Under New York law, a third DWI/DWAI conviction is a Class D felony with a maximum fine of $10,000 and up to 7 years in prison with a 1-year minimum driver’s license revocation. Charlotte’s Law, which would be the toughest of its kind in the nation, would keep the current prison term and fine but forever take away driver’s license privileges for serial drunk and dangerous drivers who have three strikes on their record.
Up until now, a one-year license revocation has been the only action taken to prevent serial offenders from driving. Now, with Charlotte’s Law, their privilege to drive will be permanently terminated in New York State and our highways will be safer.