Category Archives: DUI/ DWI

NYC DWI Cabbie Program

Allows Drunk Drivers to be Taken Home in Their Own Vehicles

The New York State Federation of Taxi Drivers (NYSFTD) enacted a new program over the holidays that allowed drunken individuals to be driven home by cabbies. The unique aspect of the program was that the taxi driver drove the intoxicated person’s car.

The pilot program, called “Operation Red Nose,” ran for nearly a week leading up to New Year’s Day. Afterwards, the NYSFTD declared the program a huge success, noting that it provided more than 1,800 trips for people who were unable to safely drive themselves home. Five hundred people used the service on New Year’s Eve alone.

Cab drivers eligible for the program had to be approved by the NY Taxi and Limousine Commission. The program called for two of these eligible taxi drivers to show up to a call, with one of the cabbies driving the client’s personal vehicle while the other “escort” cabbie followed in a taxi. Once the passenger was safely delivered to his or her destination, the driver following in the taxi would pick up the other driver.

DWI Cabbie Program Makes NY Roads Safer

Some might consider the Operation Red Nose program cost-prohibitive, with already-expensive NYC taxi fees being doubled for a client wishing to be driven home in his or her own car. However, if expanded and enacted on a large scale, the program could ultimately save tens of thousands of people from being assessed far more costly fines, parking tickets, and towing fees. Even without late fees or penalties being levied, a typical parking ticket in New York City can cost a person upwards of $115. Additionally, a person charged with a first offense DWI in New York could be looking at fines totaling more than $1,750, in addition to fees and associated costs for enrolling in the NY Drinking Driver Program, the state’s DWI-specific traffic school.

Another benefit afforded by the Operation Red Nose program is that it kept potential drunk drivers from destroying their lives. According to research conducted by the Century Council, more than 35,000 drivers were arrested in New York in 2011 for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics. A person can be charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI) in NY if he or she has a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or higher. The penalties for a DWI conviction in New York are severe. For example, a second offense DWI conviction could result in a sentence of up to four years in jail and driver’s license revocation for at least one year. Additionally, since a second offense DWI is considered a class E felony, a conviction will show up on a person’s permanent criminal record.

Perhaps the greatest benefit of the Operation Red Nose program is that it ensured public safety by encouraging drunk drivers to stay off the roads. Fernando Mateo, the founder and spokesperson for the NYSFTD, said that the pilot program that was in effect during the holiday season saved lives because people are often willing to take the risk of driving drunk rather than leave their car behind and risk having it get stolen, towed away, or ticketed. Unfortunately, this willingness to drive while intoxicated doesn’t just risk the lives of drunk drivers; it puts everyone on NYC roads at risk. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), there were 344 alcohol-impaired driving fatalities in New York in 2012. This figure represented nearly 30 percent of total traffic deaths in the state.

Now that the Operation Red Nose pilot program has concluded, the NYSFTD is looking into the possibility of offering the program year-round in New York City. In the meantime, NY traffic officers will continue to crack down on drunk driving.

If you’ve been assessed a traffic violation or charged with drunk driving in New York, do not hesitate to contact the experienced drunk driving and traffic defense lawyers at the Law Office of James E. Tyner, PLLC. For a free consultation call 866-642-3807.


NYU Study Finds Strict Enforcement of Traffic Safety Laws Reduces Motor Vehicle Fatalities

A recent study by researchers at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development found that states with a higher number of alcohol and traffic laws tend to have less traffic fatalities than states with fewer such laws. The study was supported by a grant from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

The NYU study examined a subset of 27 laws, which included child safety seat regulations, beer taxes, and mandatory fines for DUI violations. The study was comprehensive, analyzing these laws across all 50 states. Specifically, the researchers determined how many of these laws were adopted by each state between 1980 and 2010. The types of laws were chosen based on two criteria:

· The laws had to be aimed at changing individual behaviors with respect to either alcohol consumption or traffic safety.
· There had to be prior evidence suggesting that these types of laws might be effective at reducing preventable traffic-related deaths.

Although the average state had adopted less than eight percent of these laws in 1980, that number grew to 59 percent by 2010. Importantly, the significant increase in alcohol and traffic laws in some states corresponded with a significant decrease in the total number of deaths resulting from traffic accidents. States that had adopted most traffic safety laws saw a 14.5 percent decrease in their motor vehicle fatality rates for all ages.

Significantly, the NYU study also found that alcohol consumption was strongly associated with higher traffic fatality rates. This is important because more than 10,000 people died in alcohol-impaired car crashes across the nation in 2012.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 33,561 people were killed on US roadways in 2012. This represented a three percent increase over 2011. In New York, there were 1,168 traffic fatalities last year. Driving has become more dangerous in recent years because of the prevalence of technology and a resulting increase in texting while driving. If you’ve been assessed a traffic violation or charged with drunk driving in New York, contact an experienced traffic defense lawyer at the Law Office of James E. Tyner, PLLC. Call for a free initial consultation: 866-642-3807.