Feedback: Tiffany's Law Would Close Drunk Driving Loophole

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Drinking while boating is just as dangerous as drinking while operating any other vehicle.

"Boating while intoxicated, snowmobiling while intoxicated, driving while intoxicated - all of these are very serious events and they can have some serious and devastating, horrific consequences," said Jefferson County District Attorney Cindy Intschert.

"Tiffany's Law" tackles this problem head on.

It's a bill named after Tiffany Heitkamp (pictured), a Syracuse girl who was killed by a drunk boater in July 2006.

The boater, Keir Weimer, had a record of two prior DWI's, but he was only charged with a first offense.

That's the law now.

There's no correlation between alcohol-related boating crimes and any other drinking while operating a vehicle crimes.

"Tiffany's Law" would require that a person's prior convictions of operating a vehicle while under the influence be considered in their sentencing of subsequent boating while intoxicated offenses and vice versa. 

"This is an important issue. We all take this seriously and we know that this is really a reflection of the danger to society and the failure to learn from past mistakes," said state Senator Joe Griffo (R. - 47th District). 

The state Senate has passed "Tiffany's Law" twice before, but it hasn't made it through the state Assembly.

Griffo is urging the Assembly to take up the bill during this session.

 

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Friday, August 1, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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