Drunk driving kills. Anastasia Karassik understands that better than most people. Her 13-year-old daughter, Larisa, was killed last year on Memorial Day weekend when a drunk driver ran a stop sign and struck the car her father, Bruce, was driving. According to lohud.com, that heart-breaking event spurred the Karassik family to spearhead efforts to try and raise awareness and prevention of drunk driving.
The family began the Larisa Karassik Foundation and has been fighting the good fight ever since.
“This is what our mission is for our foundation: To raise awareness, talk about the consequences of DWIs, and put a face to the tragedy that happened to our family,” Anastasia said at an event this past Thursday with local state legislators to raise awareness with the upcoming Fourth of July holiday.
According to a recent Gallop Poll, the Fourth of July is one of the holidays many Americans (67%) were most likely to say they experienced happiness and enjoyment without a lot of stress and worry. Ironically, Independence Day is historically one of the deadliest days of the year when it comes to drunk driving accidents. Perhaps this care-free attitude is a contributing factor and something the Karassik family and local community want to try and stop.
“We all expect everybody to enjoy this nice holiday weekend, Independence Day,” said Rockland County Sheriff Louis Falco. “But you have to be conscious of the fact that drinking and driving is not part of this weekend as far as being responsible.”
He went on to announce that sobriety checkpoints and DUI stops will be set up throughout the county in an attempt to deter would-be drunk drivers from making the wrong decision. The “zero tolerance” policy the community has adopted even extends to boating while under the influence of alcohol as well.
The County has even talked about introducing a “two strikes and your out” law that would permanently revoke someone’s driver’s license after two drunk driving offenses.
“The stakes are way too high,” said state Sen. David Carlucci.