Sunset Park Mourns Drunk Driving Death

Assemblyman Calls for Increased Measures to Prevent Drunk Driving
March 30, 2009
(Albany, NY) Assemblyman Felix Ortiz (51st AD-Brooklyn) today issued his condolences to the family of Ysemny Ramos of Sunset Park and called for increased measures to prevent drunk driving. At this time, it is suspected that the driver who struck and killed Ms. Ramos and injured her companion was drunk.

The driver of the 2-ton van who struck these two women has been charged with five felonies and found to have a blood alcohol level of .17, more than double the legal limit. As yet another senseless drunk driving death hits close to home, Assemblyman Ortiz took steps to push innovative legislation designed to curb drunk driving forward.

Ortiz has introduced a set of bills that would require mandatory Ignition Interlock devices on all vehicles (A2452, A2632 and A2633). These devices test blood alcohol content (BAC) in a manner similar to a breathalyzer and prevent the motor from turning on if a predetermined threshold for BAC is crossed. These bills would apply to both new vehicles as well as requiring such devices to be installed in all vehicles currently on the road.

“Every day, the lives of families like the Ramos family are shattered by the choices of people who drink and drive. The incredible cost to our community has created an urgent need for this type of legislation. We have the opportunity to virtually eliminate drunk driving through this technology,” said Ortiz.

In 2006, there were 13,470 fatalities in crashes involving an alcohol-impaired driver (BAC of .08 or higher) – 32 percent of total traffic fatalities for the year. Alcohol-related crashes cost the public an estimated $114.3 billion annually—this includes an estimated $63.2 billion lost in quality of life due to these crashes.