Ortiz Pushes Statewide Ignition Interlock Program

Program provides solution to alcohol related fatalities on New York’s roadways
January 25, 2008
(Albany) – Assemblyman Felix Ortiz, (Brooklyn), Chair of the New York State Assembly Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Committee, is continuing to fight for the passage of his legislation A.2252, which would create a statewide ignition interlock program. He believes that his new Chairmanship of the Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Committee will help him to raise awareness to the perils of drunk driving in our state and that he will be able to rally more support this year to ensure the passage of his bill.

The bill calls for the installation of ignition interlock devices in every vehicle that is sold or registered in the state. The devices once installed in a vehicle, would prevent the vehicle from starting if alcohol was detected on the driver’s breath. A driver would be required to blow into the device before the vehicle could be started. This would effectively render it impossible for a driver with a vehicle which has been registered or sold in New York, to drive under the influence of alcohol.

Ortiz has been calling attention to the high rate of alcohol related accidents resulting in the deaths of young people in our state. His belief is that ignition interlock devices provide the solution to stop these tragedies. “According to the Department of Motor Vehicles, car crashes are still the leading cause of death for young people between 15-20 years of age and many of these fatalities involve the use of alcohol,” stated Ortiz.

Ortiz continued, “The ignition interlock device will decide whether or not an individual is capable of driving. The fact is that alcohol affects a person’s judgment, and someone who has been drinking is in no state of mind to be judging their own sobriety, especially our young and inexperienced drivers. I have been pushing for the passage of this legislation for a few years now and I believe that with the help of my committee members we can make this bill a reality and eradicate drunk driving and the senseless deaths it causes once and for all.”