MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Acting Nassau Police Commissioner Thomas Krumpter, along with other law enforcement officials, spoke out against a new law meant to increase prison time hit-and-run drivers — claiming the legislation has too many exceptions.
In New York, hit-and-run drivers under the influence face less prison time than if they stay on the scene. The new law is supposed to close that loophole.READ MORE: COVID Restrictions: New York City Restaurants Can Increase Capacity, New Jersey Raises Gathering Limits
Supporters of the law say it will help catch repeat offenders. Critics argue that most first-time offenders would not be charged unless they kill or injure more than one person, WLNY 10/55’s Long Island Bureau Chief Richard Rose reported.
Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Signas said stiffer penalties only apply to repeat offenders who drive recklessly.
“The exceptions that they’ve created and the requirements that they’ve put on it had made it it virtually impossible for prosecutors to bring a charge and we’re not going to stand for it,” Singas said.READ MORE: COVID Vaccine In NYC: City Officials Modifying Outreach Efforts As Demand For Vaccines Plummets
Right now, impaired hit-and-run drivers face four years for leaving the scene, while avoiding sobriety tests that would subject them to up to fifteen years behind bars.
“People are dying and then people are leaving,” Richard Mallow from adovcate group NY Mothers Against Drunk Driving, said. “They should be prosecuted.”
Opponents are calling on Governor Andrew Cuomo not to sign the bill.
“I know there were a lot of conversations that are going on,” Cuomo said. “We want to get the best law we can.”MORE NEWS: New York Population Declines By More Than 100K, Census Numbers Show
Legislative leaders have until late December to fix the bill in time for Cuomo to sign it this year.