Sign The E-Petition Today

Western New York has been rocked recently by several high profile incidents involving the hit-and-run deaths of area teens and young adults. The most widely publicized was the hit-and-run death of 18-year-old Alix Rice of Amherst.

Alix was riding home from work on her longboard when she was struck and killed by a passing motorist, Dr. James Corasanti. New York State leaving the scene of an accident law holds that to be found guilty, the driver must "know" or have "cause to know" that they had in fact struck a person or an object. Dr. Corasanti’s lawyers successfully argued that for a myriad of questionable reasons, Dr. Corasanti was unaware that he had struck and subsequently killed Alix, even though he was found guilty of driving while intoxicated during the incident.

The case, and its high profile nature, led to outrage across Western New York and caused me to reexamine the current statute.

I have introduced and passed legislation, aptly named "Alix's Law", to make leaving the scene of an accident while intoxicated a specific offense. This law modifies the prosecutorial burden so that if the driver was proved to be intoxicated while leaving the scene of an accident, the prosecution does not need to establish the driver knew they had hit something or someone.

This closes a dangerous loophole and lends itself to simple common sense. Intoxicated drivers are arguably the most likely to flee the scene of an accident to avoid being caught driving under the influence, and due to their intoxication and diminished awareness, they are also the least likely to know if they have struck an object or a person.

"Alix's Law" passed the Senate in 2012 with bipartisan support, but has stalled in the Assembly.

Please sign this web petition and I will personally deliver the signatures to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver's office to ensure he brings this important bill to a vote as soon as possible.

(Read a Buffalo News editorial about "Alix's Law")

(Read the bill text of "Alix's Law")