CLARKSTOWN, N.Y. -- The upcoming holiday weekend marks the 100 deadliest days of summer for teen and drunk driving fatalities on highways across the country.
Over the past five years 5,000 people have been killed during this time period nationwide. That's why Sen. David Carlucci (D-Rockland/Westchester) and Rockland County Sheriff Louis Falco joined advocates on Thursday to discuss the dangers of drinking and driving, and how and what is being done to crack down on DWIs.
Carlucci, who is sponsoring a bill called the “Repeat Offender Revocation Law,” is calling for stricter penalties and fines for those who drink and drive.
"The current penalties and fines for drunk drivers who are repeat offenders are not aggressive enough. There is no excuse for someone who consistently puts their own life and the life of others at risk. There are cases all across the country where offenders have been charged with DWI six, seven, and even eight times, but those offenders eventually are back on the road," he said.
The bill would ensure that drivers with multiple offenses will not be allowed to operate a motor vehicle. There is no provision in New York State law allowing for a permanent driver’s license revocation without exceptions. The bill, which passed the Senate, also creates a permanent license revocation after three DWIs, three refusals to submit to a sobriety test, or for two DWIs where a physical injury has occurred.
Falco said he is in full support of Senator Carlucci’s legislation. The Sheriff also went on to explain how there will be various checkpoints setup during the holiday weekend. In addition local police departments will have extra patrols out and about for the weekend, not only looking for drinking and driving, but that includes driving under the influence of drugs as well.
"Senator Carlucci’s legislation will help keep our roads safe. Studies continue to show that drunk drivers will keep re-offending. Having the ‘Repeat Offender Revocation Law’ in place would illustrate to offenders that there will be serious consequences to putting the public at risk. I fully support the Senator’s legislation," said Falco.
Anastasia Karassik an advocate, who told the heartbreaking story of how her 13-year-old daughter, Larisa, was the victim of a drunk driver’s reckless choice to get behind the wheel after drinking. Karassik started the Larisa Karassik Foundation in honor of her daughter.
“I experienced the worst tragedy no family should ever have to endure, the loss of a child. Our daughter Larisa's death will not be just another statistic,” said Karassik.
Sally Borgman, Leader of the Rockland County Chapter MADD Chapter, spoke on what MADD is doing to help prevent drinking and driving and how MADD is working together with municipalities everywhere to spread awareness to stop tragedies from happening over and over.
“Mothers Against Drunk Driving is the nation’s largest nonprofit and we are working to protect families from drunk driving, drugged driving and underage drinking. If we continue to work together, we can eliminate drunk driving,” said Borgman.
Carlucci said he hopes that the Assembly will realize the importance of his bill and pass the measure: “The numbers of fatalities resulting from individuals drinking and driving are staggering. These deaths are easily preventable and we need to make people realize the serious dangers involved in drinking and driving. Too many families have been negatively impacted by a tragedy caused by a drunk driver.”
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