According to an article appearing in Friday’s edition of the Binghamton, NY-based Press and Sun Bulletin, Nick Spano (R-Westchester) and Tom Libous (R-Binghamton) proposed a legislative measure which would punish repeat DUI offenders by forcing them to purchase and display alphabetically and/or numerically coded license plates to facilitate police surveillance. Though the New York State branch of the American Civil Liberties Union have raised questions about the constitutional ethics of such punitive activity, similar measures have successfully been implemented in Georgia, Minnesota and Ohio, where convicted drunken drivers must use color-coded license plates.
The proposed legislation, according to the Press and Sun Bulletin story, would require all drivers convicted of three DUI offenses in a five year period or four offenses within a decade to use the new license plates for a period of two years. Senator Spano’s website, however, reports that the legislation would require a driver to surrender his or her license plates after three DWI offenses in five years or five offenses within a ten-year span. Furthermore, Spano’s website reports, a driver would also have to give up his or her plates if convicted of DWI while driving with a minor under the age of sixteen as a passenger, if he or she refuses to submit to a chemical test, or if the driver’s blood-alcohol level is greater than .20.
Additionally, according to Spano’s press release, the proposed bill “would make it a crime for a driver to operate outside the parameters of a conditional license–currently it is only a traffic violation.
This would apply to a conditional license holder on a public highway for an unauthorized purpose. Usually conditional licenses permit a driver to get to and from their place of employment.
Such operation would result in a misdemeanor charge and suspension of their vehicle registration for 90 days.”
The bill also proposes harsher penalties for those drivers convicted of driving with a suspended or revoked license.
My opinions on the matter can be found here.