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Repeat Drunk Drivers
Posted by Charles Esslinger on Jun 13th, 2014

New York gets tougher on repeat offenders:

After several years of debate, “Vince's Law” is now one step closer to becoming implemented in the state of New York. This Wednesday, the state Senate approved a measure that would increase penalties for those who have been convicted of three or more driving while intoxicated offenses within a 15-year period.

Under the bill, S7108, intoxicated drivers who have had three or more prior DWI convictions will face a class D felony for any subsequent infractions. Punishment for repeat offenders will also get a little tougher under the new law – penalties include a prison sentence, a fine of up to $10,000, or both.

As with most drunk driving laws, Vince's Law was inspired by a local tragedy. Vincent Russo, an Onondaga County resident, was killed by a drunk driver back in 2011. The driver responsible, Michael Iannettoni, had five previous DWI-related convictions at the time of the fatal collision. Four of those convictions occurred within 17 years of the crash that ended Russo's life.

“Vincent Russo was tragically killed by a drunk driver, whose blood alcohol content was four times the legal limit, and was free awaiting sentencing for a fifth DWI violation,” said Sen John DeFrancisco (R-Syracuse). “It's a complete outrage that Michael Iannettoni was not behind bars because a fatal car crash could have been avoided.”

As you might expect, the Russo family has been instrumental in helping to pass Vince's Law. Vince's brother, Paul, has been particularly active in the fight for tougher intoxicated driving laws. “We have all been working diligently on this issue,” Paul Russo said. “I am happy that we have passed legislation that could help prosecutors throughout New York state, and in some way pay tribute to my late brother.”

Currently, Vince's Law is on its way to Gov. Andrew Cuomo's desk for review.

Milwaukee's 1000th repeat drunk driver:

After leading police on a dramatic high-speed chase, 41-year-old Kevin Hutchins became Milwaukee County's 1000th repeat drunk driver since 2010. Hutchins, who had previously been convicted of operating while intoxicated (OWI) in 2008 and 2009, plead guilty to several charges, including fleeing/eluding an officer and OWI causing injury.

Hutchins was arrested on these latest charges on October 29, 2013. According to Sheriff's officials, a deputy spotted Hutchins' car driving southbound in the northbound lanes of Mayfair Rd. After refusing to pull over, officers pursued Hutchins, reaching speeds of 109 m.p.h. The pursuit ended when Hutchins got onto Highway 41 at the Stadium Interchange and crashed into the median. As a result of the collision, Hutchins' vehicle went airborne and collided with a police cruiser.

Two of the police officers involved in the chase were injured as a result of Hutchins' actions. One of the deputies, who crashed in an attempt to avoid debris from Hutchins' vehicle, was taken to Froedtert Hospital for treatment of a broken right foot, back and neck pain, and air bag burn. The other deputy was treated for wrist and shoulder pain.

Hutchins, who had to be forcibly removed from his vehicle, was taken to a local hospital for treatment of cuts and shoulder pain. While at the hospital, Hutchins continued to be combative – he scratched a nurse with his bloody nails, puncturing the man's glove and putting his health at risk. He also refused to have his blood drawn until a search warrant was obtained.

After his DUI in 2009, Hutchins wrote a letter to the judge calling the offense his “second and last DUI.” Unfortunately, that wasn't the case.


Auburnpub.com - http://auburnpub.com/blogs/eye_on_ny/ny-senate-approves-bill-increasing-penalties-for-repeat-drunk-driving/article_45a7551a-f23f-11e3-83dc-001a4bcf887a.html

Fox6Now.com - http://fox6now.com/2014/06/12/sentenced-milwaukee-countys-1000th-repeat-drunk-driver-in-connection-with-chase-crash/