2003-07-11 / Community

Titus: New DWI Law Will Save Lives

Titus: New DWI Law Will Save Lives

Assemblywoman Michele Titus has reminded motorists recently that New York’s new tougher driving while intoxicated standard has gone into effect as of July 1.

"With summer travel season upon us and more New Yorkers hitting the roadways, this tougher law means more motorists will make it safely to their destinations," said Titus. "Too many of our loved ones have had their lives impacted by drunk drivers. It’s a serious crime with very serious consequences."

Titus supported the new state law, which lowers the legal blood alcohol concentration from .10 to .08 percent.

Alcohol-related auto accidents kill one American every 20 minutes, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. For those between 5 and 35 years of age, motor vehicle accidents are the number one cause of death – with over 50 percent of these accidents caused by alcohol-impaired drivers.

"The statistics are staggering. Even more alarming is the fact that these accidents are preventable. If you drink and drive, you’re not just endangering your life, you’re endangering other innocent people on the road," Titus said.

"New York has taken tough steps to educate the public about the dangers of drinking and driving, and to combat this problem," said Titus. "Lowering the BAC to .08 percent is another important step in deterring irresponsible drivers and protecting innocent lives. If one family is spared the heartbreak and devastation of having a loved one killed by a drunk driver, this new law will have been a success."

The Assembly and Senate also recently passed measures that would make New York’s Laws more consistent by lowering BAC thresholds for boating and snowmobiling to equal the legal limit for driving, to .08 from .10 percent. The measures are awaiting the governor’s approval, and if signed would take effect November 1.

"Summer is here – a time when thousands head out to enjoy New York’s many vacation spots," Titus said. "So now it is especially important that we send a message loud and clear that operating a car, a boat – or any vehicle – under the influence of alcohol is dangerous, and will not be tolerated."

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