NY Passes Angelica’s Law Named for Long Island Teen Killed By Driver With Suspended License

angelica's law
On June 8, 2023, NYS Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr. (D-Sag Harbor) and State Sen. Kevin Thomas welcomed Dawn Nappi to the State Capitol upon the passage of their legislation entitled “Angelica’s Law.” Dawn is the mother of Angelica Nappi, who was tragically killed by a driver operating a motor vehicle with seven prior license suspensions in 2008. If signed into law by the governor, Angelica’s Law will decrease from 10 to 5 the number of prior suspensions imposed for moving violations needed to qualify for a Class E felony of aggravated unlicensed operation in the first degree.
Courtesy Office of Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr.

NY Passes Angelica’s Law Named for Long Island Teen Killed By Driver With Suspended License

The New York State Legislature passed Angelica’s Law, which would lower the number of driver’s license suspensions required to trigger felony charges, last week.

The bill would make it a felony for drivers to get behind the wheel with five or more suspensions. It was unanimously approved in the State Assembly on June 1 before making its way to the State Senate. It now awaits the signature of Gov. Kathy Hochul.

“With the passage of this bill, we are sending a clear message: dangerous drivers who repeatedly break the law will face severe consequences,” said state Sen. Kevin Thomas (D-Hicksville).

Sponsored by Thomas and Assemblyman Fred Thiele (D-Sag Harbor), Angelica’s Law is named after Angelica Nappi, a 14 year old who was killed in 2008 when a driver with seven prior license suspensions drove through a red light on Route 101 in Medford. The driver spent four months in jail.

Angelica’s mother, Dawn, has been an outspoken advocate of legislation for the past 15 years and was invited to the senate chambers for the law’s passage on June 8.
The bill had been proposed, but not passed, over the course of more than a decade.

“The fact that this took 15 years blows my mind,” Nappi told WCBS-TV. “Nobody should be driving with a suspension, period.”

Thiele called the passage a bipartisan effort, saying, “We found the compromise that was necessary to move the bill forward.” He added: “I am grateful for Dawn Nappi’s advocacy on behalf of her daughter’s memory – and look forward to continuing fighting alongside her to make our roads safer.”

Per the bill text, drivers in violation of the law would be subject to a class E felony, a fine between $500 and $5,000, and a prison sentence not to extend past two years.

“I want her life and death to always be remembered. I don’t want my daughter to have died in vain,” Nappi added in the interview.