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State Legislature Supports Tougher DWI Law

By Mark Scott

Albany, NY – A grieving mother's relentless lobbying is having on impact on state leaders in Albany.

Monique Dixon of Queens has been pressing lawmakers for weeks to approve the proposal that would toughen laws for drunk drivers who kill or injure people. The legislation is named for her eleven-year-old son, VaSean, who was killed last year by an accused drunken driver.

The driver could be charged only with a misdemeanor. But State Assemblywoman Francine DelMonte said injuring or killing someone while driving drunk would now be considered a felony.

"I've actually had similar cases occur in my district," DelMonte said. "I've heard from the parents of children who have been lost under the same circumstances. I think they'll be very pleased to see the law has been toughened."

The bill passed Monday in the Assembly. It's likely to be approved in the Senate in the coming days.