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- EFFECTIVE IN CHEMUNG COUNTY, NY UNTIL 1/24/2017 1:00 PM EST
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Bill for Wrong Way Driving Goes to NY Senate
ELMIRA -- [WENY] The New York state Senate passed a bill totoughen penalties for wrong way and reckless drivers, just days before a holiday that a lot of people use as an excuse to get drunk.
It creates new crime of aggrivated reckless driving and make it a felony.Those charged could face a maximum of four years in prison.
Local cops say they will be out in force for St. Patrick's Day.
As for this new bill, it would impact reckless drivers whether they're drunk or not. The Senate's bill calls for tougher penalties for wrong way and reckless drivers is making it's way to the Assembly.
It won't go into effect before Saint Patty's Day, but the cops are cracking down.
"When Saint Patrick's Day comes in, we put out more patrol specifically to look for intoxicated drivers," said Captain Douglas Houper of the Chemung County Sheriff's Office. "So we'll be out there. Certainly you'll see more sheriff's car's out there during that day and night period just to look for that."
There are many who take the route of designating a driver, calling a cab, or now that the weather's heating up... walking.
"I'm not worried about it much, but just making sure that people are responsible and take care of themselves and anything we can do to help, we're here," John Brady, the owner of Brady's Pub in Elmira.
He says they're always there to call people cab rides home to make sure they get back safely.
The Chemung County Sheriff's Office tells me they'll have roving patrols out to specifically look for drivers swerving or driving the wrong way.
"The problem is you're a risk to yourself and everyone else on the road. So that sober driver could drive home and all of a sudden be killed by a drunk driver and no one wants that on their conscience," said Capt. Houper.
The bill also would apply to people who drive more than 30 miles-an-hour over the speed limit while intoxicated, impaired or racing, and drivers who weave through lanes excessively.