OMBUDSMAN ALERT: LEGISLATORS CONSIDER OMBUDSMAN’S REQUEST TO REDUCE BAC LEVEL FOR DWI FROM .08 – .05%

BY DR. LOUIS ALPERT

Ombudsman

On December 20, 2018 the Ombudsman Alert published the article “Ombudsman Alert Joins ‘Advocates For Highway And Auto Safety’ To Declare December 2018 As ‘National Drugged And Drunk Driving Prevention Month.’

The column called on our New York State legislators, Senator David Carlucci, Assemblypersons Ellen Jaffee and Ken Zebrowski as well as Congresswoman Nita Lowey to consider legislation reducing the existing level of the BAC of .08% to .05%. As was discussed in the 1220-18 article, the ONLY state to date that had reduced this level to .05% was the State of Utah which just implemented this reduction starting on 12-30-18!

In the ombudsman’s conversations with members of the Utah State Legislature, it was suggested that New York State be encouraged to follow in their footsteps and that “we are willing to share(information) with members of the New York legislature when they decide earnestly to consider similar legislation in your beautiful state.”

It is most critical to point out to our readers as well as to the members of the New York State legislature that none other than the “National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine”endorsed this very reduction for use in all 50 states by stating that it was “One of the most effective strategies to curb these tragic and completely preventable fatalities.”

Comments and Statements from our Legislators sent to this Ombudsman conclude this article.

NEW YORK STATE SENATOR DAVID CARLUCCI:

“I am looking into legislation that passed in Utah to see if this is something that could further reduce drinking and driving here in New York. We need to do everything we can to educate people about the dangers of drinking and driving and strengthen enforcement. This is why i am looking to pass legislation in Larisa Karassik’s memory that tells drivers ‘three strikes and you’re out.’ You do not get to have a license in new York state after three DWIs because ‘sorry’ will not be enough if a person’s choice to drive drunk results in the death or injury of another person.”

ASSEMBLYWOMAN ELLEN JAFFEE:

In a comment made to this Ombudsman through the Assembywoman’s spokesperson, it was made clear that such a bill numbered 2302-A in the Assembly had been introduced several times in the past by Assemblyman Felix Ortiz, but had failed to be brought up for a vote. This bill, if brought up this year by Assemblyman Ortiz, WILL be Co-Sponsored by Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee.

The Ombudsman Alert concludes this article by encouraging Assemblyman Felix Ortiz to, once again, introduce this bill with our Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee as the co-sponsor!

Please direct all comments and questions to: editor@rocklandcountytimes.com