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Gov. Cuomo signs tougher drunken driving law

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Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo today signed an amendment to the state’s laws against driving while intoxicated that would turn three DWI-related offenses within 15 years into a felony.

“Motorists who repeatedly drive drunk are a danger to themselves and everyone else on the road, and they have no place behind the wheel,” Gov. Cuomo said in a news release.

Possible penalties for the felony are up to seven years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The measure is named after Vincent Russo, a man killed in suburban Syracuse by a driver with five prior offenses. Authorities say the driver’s blood alcohol content was four times the legal limit.

“Vince’s Law will keep these reckless individuals out of the driver’s seat and help prevent future tragedies from occurring. I thank the sponsors of this bill for their help in combatting drunk driving and am proud to sign this bill into law today.”

The law would take effect Nov. 1 and apply to offenses after that.

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