Bill would require special tags for NY's repeat DWI offenders

| Wednesday, June 22, 2005

If a pair of New York state lawmakers get their way, convicted drunk drivers would be required to display special license plates that would identify them to police for random stops.

Republican Senators Nick Spano of Westchester and Tom Libous of Binghampton unveiled the effort June 16. It would require drivers convicted of three drunken driving offenses in a five-year period – or four within 10 years – to purchase the special license plates. The plates would include a number or letter code that police could use to easily identify them as convicted drunk drivers.

The plates, which would cost the vehicle owner $100, would be required to be on the vehicle for two years.

The senators acknowledge the special plates could result in frequent police stops, as well as stopping the vehicle when someone else is behind the wheel.

“That’s unfortunate,” Libous told The Associated Press. “But repeat offenders kill people.”

Similar provisions are already in place in Georgia, Minnesota and Ohio.

According to The AP, Georgia and Minnesota use a special combination of numbers or letters to identify motorists convicted of driving while intoxicated, while Ohio last year made bright orange plates mandatory.

The New York bill, S5646, is in the Senate Rules Committee.

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