Sounds like a fun, safe way to go to prom: get together with a couple of dozen friends and hire a “party bus,” leaving the driving to a professional. Unfortunately, a group of teens from Oswego found themselves on a bus driven by an alleged drunk driver, with a blood alcohol level about three times the legal limit.
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“Unfortunately, under the current law,” said House Minority Leader Tom Cross (R-Osergo), “he could only be charged with a simple DUI, and you could imagine the potential catastrophic situation you would have if there had been an accident with 23 high school kids in this car.”
Cross sponsored a bill, which has passed the House unanimously, to make a driver-for-hire of a bus, taxi, or limousine susceptible to aggravated DUI, a felony, regardless of his or her record. The bill gives the local prosecutors the discretion to charge as a misdemeanor if they see fit; the felony carries a maximum prison term of three years.