(Albany) – After a series of crashes last week involving drunk drivers, Assemblyman Felix Ortiz, (Brooklyn), Chair of the New York State Assembly Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Committee, is calling on Governor Spitzer to develop a taskforce to address the problem of DWIs in New York.
A national survey conducted by M.A.D.D. shows that from 1997-2002 the amount of Americans that took alcohol-impaired driving trips increased by 43 million. The occurrence of drunk-driving is on the rise, and Assemblyman Ortiz believes that it is becoming an epidemic in New York.
Ortiz is continuing to fight for the passage of his legislation, A.5902, which he believes is the answer to fighting DWIs. Under his bill, every vehicle sold or registered in the state would be equipped with an ignition interlock device system which would prevent someone under the influence of alcohol from driving while intoxicated.
Last week in the Capital Region alone, three crashes involving alcohol all occurred within 24 hours of one another and all involved young women drivers. “Obviously the message to our young people about the dangers of drunk driving is not being heeded. Car crashes – the majority involving alcohol use – are still the leading cause of death among young people in our state,” stated Ortiz.
“How many more lives need to be destroyed before we take responsible action? Our young people should not be given the opportunity to drink and drive. The installation of ignition interlock devices will protect our young drivers from making bad decisions, and solve the problem of drunk driving in New York State,” continued Ortiz.