While the reasons for not drinking and driving are more then obvious (Diane Schuler, anyone?), the County Legislature has added a new, compelling reason to call up a cab next time you’ve had a few too many before hitting the road: your car could be impounded.
The proposed law gained momentum with the recent Taconic Parkway tragedy—where Diane Schuler, who, with at least ten drinks in her system, drove in the wrong direction and killed eight people as a result. Lawmakers say the bill, if passed, would both help keep drunk drivers from returning to the roads, as well as make people think twice about drinking and driving in the first place (due to the high cost).
There’s both an “innocent owner” clause (no vehicle forfeiture when the owner did not know that the vehicle would be used in a violation), as well as a “hardship relief” clause (where a defendant can plead that the loss of a car would substantially affect his or her ability reach work, school or medical treatment).