2002-04-27 / Community

Pheffer: Get Tough With Drunken Teens

Pheffer: Get Tough With Drunken Teens

Assemblywoman Audrey I. Pheffer has announced that the Assembly passed legislation she supported (A.9712-A) allowing judges to suspend the license or learner permit of a young driver immediately following a drinking and driving arrest.

The bill, referred to as "Sean's Law," was introduced subsequent to a tragedy where Sean Patrick French, a 17-year-old, was killed in a car accident in which another 17-year-old was charged with drunk driving. The driver was already awaiting arraignment on a previous DWAI charge.

"This measure would allow a judge to suspend a learner permit or junior license immediately after a minor's first court appearance, rather than waiting until after the arraignment," explained Pheffer. "Additionally, it would also require the court to more quickly notify a parent or guardian or a minor arrested for DWI or DWAI."

The legislation is part of Assemblywoman Pheffer's continuing efforts to make New York's roads safer. She recently sponsored legislation designed to curb drunk driving and improve young driver laws, including lowering the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels from .10 percent to .08 percent (A.8429).

Pheffer also voted in favor of legislation issuing drivers under 18 a graduated license -- slowly incrementing their full driving privileges based upon clean drivers' records (A.3513-A).

"We must continue to toughen laws regulating underage drinkers and drivers, and these measures will go a long way toward keeping New York's roads and motorists safe," concluded Pheffer.

Sean's parents were on hand for the bill's emotional passage in the Assembly.

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