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Prosecutor's office vows zero-tolerance for repeat offenders

New Yorkers might want to be aware that Albany County has adopted a zero-tolerance policy for repeat drunk driving offenders. The new policy was announced on May 26 in advance of the Memorial Day weekend.

According to the Albany County District Attorney's Office, repeat offenders who have prior convictions for drunk driving are required to have ignition interlock devices installed on their vehicles. Before the engines will start, people who have the devices must blow into them. If they have any alcohol on their breath, the vehicles won't start.

In Albany County alone, more than 100 people with ignition interlock devices attempted to circumvent them in 2016. The district attorney states that the prosecutors will no longer be willing to negotiate plea deals with people who are charged with tampering with their ignition interlock devices. Instead, they state that they will prosecute people who are charged with doing this to the fullest extent that they can. The state has a funding line available to it to also send out probation officers and police officers to check on people who have been convicted of drunk driving in order to make certain that their ignition interlock devices are installed and working correctly.

People who are charged with drunk driving as repeat offenders or with tampering with their ignition interlock devices may need legal help. Experienced criminal defense lawyers may mount vigorous defenses for their clients to the charges. In some cases, they might be able to secure plea agreements to lesser offenses. In others, they might file motions challenging the manner in which the evidence was gathered in efforts to try to prevent its admission.

Source: Spectrum News, "Zero-tolerance policy for repeat drunk drivers in Albany County", Geoff Redick, May 26, 2017

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