By Carolyn Gusoff

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Driving with a suspended license is illegal, and yet, that doesn’t stop some motorists.

Even when these lawbreakers kill, critics say they get off with a slap on the wrist.

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“It was not an accident … That was a death and the guy knew he was supposed not to drive the car,” George Gasparis told CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff.

Nothing will change the fact that Gasparis’ daughter, 20-year-old Kyra Garsapis, is gone.

“To take away the most precious thing I have in life, I don’t care if I live or die now,” George Gasparis said.

Her father can’t look at videos of her. Her mother has left Kyra’s bedroom untouched.

But what they believe they can change? A New York state law that classifies driving with a suspended license as a misdemeanor, whether a driver rolls through a stop sign or takes a life.

Kyra, a passenger, didn’t know the driver’s license was suspended twice. He crashed into a Levittown pole in 2020.

“This was habitual lawbreaking until they got caught,” Kyra’s mother, Rena Gasparis, said.

His penalty?

“Less than $500 dollars. Not a day in jail. Total disgust. You can take and drive illegally in New York state, kill someone and not be accountable,” Rena Gasparis said.

“New York gives right now a weapon to go kill someone out on the street and give them no time and say, you know what, OK, you can do it again. Nothing’s going to happen,” George Gasparis said.

Even a driver with chronic suspensions, up to 10, can only be charged with a misdemeanor.

“That’s horrific. So it’s a slap on the wrist of the offender and it’s a slap on the face of the family,” said Harry Demiris Jr., an attorney for the Gasparis family.

If all this sounds sadly familiar, it’s because it all happened to Dawn Nappi.

“I’m reliving what I went through with my daughter and how the system failed us. It’s also failing them,” Nappi said.

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She’s a determined mom who has been fighting a political stalemate in Albany for more than 10 years.

“You shouldn’t even be driving with one suspended license,” Nappi said.

Her daughter Angelica was killed by a driver who ignored seven license suspensions and ran a red light.

She got nowhere trying to make repeat offenses a felony. Angelica’s Law never advanced.

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CBS2 pressed Assembly members, who revealed the issue is money. They say suspensions can punish the poor.

“Those suspensions have to be driver-related. It cant be because he missed jury duty or because he failed to pay his taxes,” former New York State Assemblyman Joe Lentol said in 2018.

New bills will be introduced in January, counting only driving-related suspensions, but there is no bipartisan support in the Assembly.

“We are looking for an Assembly sponsor. I’m sure we can find one,” New York State Sen. Kevin Thomas said.

Former Republican Assemblyman Dean Murray blames partisan politics.

“It’s a disgrace. It’s an absolute disgrace and every single one of them has blood on their hands,” he said.

“These death that are occurring, they are murders,” Nappi said.

Now, there’s another tragedy and another family pushing for felony charges.

“Kids are bad in school and they get detention and they have more of a sentence than people do on the road who kill,” Rena Gasparis said.

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Would Kyra be alive if Angelica’s Law had passed? It’s impossible to say, but the families believe lives would be saved if unlicensed drivers face serious consequences. They plan to fight the stalemate in memory of both young women.

Carolyn Gusoff