New DUI Laws in New York for 2020

New DUI Laws in New York for 2020   

A number of new laws are currently up to be signed by the New York State legislature specifically designed at bringing down the amount of driving while under the influence (DUI/DWI) charges that have been climbing steadily in New York State for a number of years now.

While New York is not the worst offender when it comes to DUI charges (that goes to the state of California) it still remains a major problem that New York would like to tackle, which is exactly why the state assembly has been working so hard to put together new laws that could go in effect in 2020 (and beyond) to sort of reverse course.

Proposed Changes

One of the biggest and most popular bills circulating throughout the Transportation Committee amongst New York lawmakers is a bill that would dramatically lower the legal Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) level in the state.

As of right now, the state has a BAC limit of 0.08% but the new legislation would have that number dropped to 0.05% – a change that would make it one of the lowest legal BAC limits in the United States and on par with the currently active BAC limit in the state of Utah.

On top of that, a separate piece of legislation is also designed to lower the legal limit for aggravated driving while intoxicated charges as well. This BAC limit currently sits at 0.18%, but the legislation would bring that number down to 0.12%.

As highlighted above, Utah was the first state in America to drop the legal BAC limit all the way down to 0.05% in December 2018. That change at the time was regarded as a pretty radical move, but as more and more states face the cold reality that DUI charges aren’t dropping anywhere near as fast as they expected a change like this is starting to be seen as almost necessary.

Opposition Exists

At the same time, there is some opposition to the bill not only in the state assembly and the state legislature but also in the defense attorney community.

Defense attorneys in specific are worried that a change like this would be seen as far to punitive, a change that could skyrocket DUI charges, arrests, and convictions almost overnight just because what used to be seen as responsible drinking would now be seen as criminal activity.

A number of defense attorneys have already written to state lawmakers and told them of their opposition.

They recognize that it’s important to curb driving while under the influence of alcohol and drinking and driving drunk. At the same time they want to make sure that individual Americans and New York citizens are able to drink responsibly without having to worry about a serious black mark on their permanent record – and some significant criminal penalties if they are convicted because of this new BAC level.

At the end of the day, it’s impossible to know exactly where the momentum is on this new legislation. The odds are pretty good that New York lawmakers are going to pay very close attention to what happens in Utah after these changes were implemented to see if this is a direction they want to go in.

New York’s Lawsuit against Oil Companies

NYCs Lawsuit against Oil Companies for causing Climate Change

Almost every industry has a carbon footprint. Some industries are more environment friendly than others and there are government schemes available, from rebates to resources, to help companies adopt greener measures. On a broader scale, everyone contributes to climate change but there are some industries that have a much larger carbon footprint. Oil companies are among the worst offenders and that is no secret. The oil age, also known as petroleum age, has had the most devastating impact on climate change, more consequential than the industrial era when unchecked and uncontrolled deforestation was rampant.

Should a specific industry be held accountable for its adverse impact on climate and accordingly be compelled to pay for damages? That seems to be the question in the lawsuit filed by New York City against oil companies. New York City is suing Chevron, BP, ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell and ConocoPhillips for billions of dollars to pay for the innumerable measures being taken by the government to fight climate change. It is well known that the New York City pays tens of billions of dollars every year to reverse the adverse effects on the environment that is caused by several industries but also specifically the oil industry. Someone must pay for the damages, according to Santa Cruz Personal Injury Lawyer and it cannot only be the ordinary taxpayer. Oil companies have also repeatedly misled the public and subsequent governments regarding the adverse effect of their operations on climate change.

Mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio cited rising sea levels, worsening rain and snow, flooding and much hotter temperatures over the years as a serious cause for concern. The city has been battered with hurricanes, cyclones, blizzards and scorching summers in recent years. While the city has been spending enormous amounts of money to prepare the infrastructure, so it can be safe during extreme weather events, there are far more issues to be worried about. Poor air quality has been a perennial problem. A multitude of new health problems have emerged over the years that are directly or indirectly caused by environment degradation. It is not just about climate change or global warming but also about industrial waste and how various byproducts of the oil industry wind up in various manufacturing chains, albeit the latter is not a part of the lawsuit, yet.

The oil companies have said that they do enough on their own, voluntarily and as a part of their corporate social responsibility, to undo the damages and to limit the extent to which they facilitate climate change. The oil companies have apparently invested in various measures in good faith to make the world a much greener and safer place. However, if all the data is taken into consideration, climate change has only gotten worse and there doesn’t seem to be any respite in sight. It is hard to predict which way the case would swing, like a Stockton Car Crash lawsuit. Quantifying the environmental impact of an industry or a specific oil company is hard but not impossible. One must wait and see if such acutely relevant data will be made available for the court to have a decisive reasoning.