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Ortiz to Ensure All Drivers Are Licensed & Sober

Assemblyman Felix W. Ortiz (D-51st) author of the nations first ban on cellular telephones while operating a motor vehicle is pushing for several other initiatives to improve safety on New York roads. Ortiz has introduced legislation to attack the spread of senseless carnage on the roadways of our state by unlicensed and or intoxicated drivers. The legislation varies from instituting a statewide ignition interlock program (A.3054, A.10498 and A.10499) to lowering the blood alcohol content level for arrest (A.8620) from .08 to .06.

"Countless lives are being taken violently and before their time on the streets of our nation by drivers who are indifferent to the pain they cause to the families and neighborhoods of their victims. These individuals get behind the wheel either intoxicated or unlicensed and risk the lives of anyone they come across …when they do maim or kill someone in the process they all to often walk away with a slap on the wrist," stated Ortiz.

The Assemblyman is fighting to increase penalties for those who injure or cause the death of someone while driving under the influence or without a license. He will do so with strong comprehensive legislation (A.5686, A.8663) aimed at eliminating loopholes, setting sentencing minimums and providing prosecutors with new tools to keep drunk drivers off the road. Other legislation recently introduced by Ortiz will create laws to increase penalties against unlicensed drivers who cause a death or injury regardless of their fault in the accident.

"These individuals are committing a crime with great potential for violence the moment they get behind the wheel without a license or after drinking. Their decision to drive is a decision to endanger the lives of everyone they come in contact with including the passengers in their own vehicle. We must make every effort to ensure our roads are safe and those who choose to risk the lives of innocent people are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law," continued Ortiz.