Ortiz Upset Over Another Life Taken by Intoxicated Driving

Assemblyman Felix Ortiz is calling on the governor and state lawmakers to put an end to DWI by requiring every vehicle registered in New York State to install a breathalyzer device.
March 1, 2010
Albany – Assemblyman Felix W. Ortiz (Brooklyn) was extremely disappointed upon hearing the news about a fatal car crash yesterday at Cold Springs Harbor near Huntington, Long Island, New York. A young intoxicated female driver was unable to stop her car and struck another motorist’s vehicle. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene by police officials. The young woman has been charged with a DWI (Driving While Intoxicated). “These unfortunate accidents would not happen if ignition interlock devices are installed in every car,” said Ortiz.

The Assemblyman has long been working to ensure safer roads for New York motorists. His legislation (A.2632), currently pending in the Transportation Committee, calls for the installation of ignition interlock devices by 2012 in all motor vehicles manufactured for use in this state, as well as in second hand motor vehicles sold within the state. Legislation (A.2452) requires the installation of such a device in commercial vehicles. Ortiz’s initiatives seek to end any drunk-driving practices by installing these devices. The Assemblyman explained “Ignition Interlock Devices will test drivers’ alcohol level before allowing them to start the vehicle. In this way, we will be taking preventative measures, rather than reactive measures. Punishment after the accident doesn’t save the lives that were lost.”

Assemblyman Ortiz continues to maintain that no one should drive while intoxicated. “Alcohol often affects a person's judgment. A person who has been drinking is in no state of mind to be judging their own sobriety, nor should other people, as many drinkers may not appear drunk to others. By installing these devices people who appear to be sober will be stopped from driving if their Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) is above the legal limit. Mandating Ignition Interlock Devices in all cars will definitely save lives; it is that simple,” Ortiz stated.