ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – Drunk driving deaths in New York State have gone up 28% over the past four years. But, how can these deaths be prevented?
According to the New York State Police website and Stopdwi.org, fines for DWI’s alone range from $300 to $10,000. Additional costs include: three years of increased insurance rates ($5,000), attorney’s fees ($1,500) and bail ($250).
All of the fees provided by state police come out to an estimated $8,250
So with fines you could be out around $20,000.
“In legal fees, you’re looking at quite a bit okay. So, different attorney’s do it in different ways. Some charge hourly, some charge a flat fee. You’re looking on average somewhere if it’s a felony or a misdemeanor or a violation. You’re looking on average at least three thousand. Could be upwards of ten,” said Elmira Attorney Matthew Buzzetti.
Drunk drivers also cause more than 17,000 deaths annually. That’s an average of one death every 30 minutes and 310 funerals each week.
“Totally preventable. Taxi cabs, ubers, friends. There is absolutely no reason at this point in time to drive drunk and that’s with alcohol, drugs, anything,” said Buzzetti.”
More than 30% of fatal car crashes are alcohol related. Three in every ten Americans will be involved in an alcohol-related crash at some time in their lives. The penalties increase if you continue to drink and drive.
“You can be sentenced to probation, jail and on some felonies, even state prison.”
If you hurt or kill somebody while drunk, more charges are usually added.
“Most of the time, there’s an added charge. Reckless endangerment, vehicular assault, vehicular homicide, which then elevates the charge to a different classification. And then on those, somebody’s unfortunately lost their life with a totally preventable issue,” Buzzetti said.