State Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (8th Senate District) today joined with members of the Long Island Chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), along with Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice and Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota, in reminding Long Islanders not to drink and drive this holiday season.
“Having fun and celebrating with family and friends is part of the holiday season, but we are urging Long Islanders to be responsible by not drinking and driving,” said Senator Fuschillo, who has authored several different laws to help take drunk drivers off our roadways. “If you are going to drink, remember to designate a driver or make other arrangements to get home. It may save someone’s life.”
Senator Fuschillo also said he will continue to push for legislation to expand the use of ignition interlocks, which are devices installed in vehicles that measure alcohol in the driver’s breath and immobilize the car if levels exceed set limits. Under legislation Senator Fuschillo sponsored, convicted drunk drivers, including first-time offenders, would be placed on mandatory probation and be required to have an ignition interlock device installed in all vehicles that they use. The cost for installing and maintaining the interlock system would be borne by the offender. This would be in addition to any other applicable penalties. The State Senate passed the legislation earlier this year.
A similar law enacted in the State of New Mexico in 2005 has led to a more than 60 percent drop in the recidivism rate among drunk drivers.
“Interlock systems have been proven extremely effective in ensuring that drunk drivers, including first time offenders, never drink and drive again. Expanding the use of these devices would help prevent drunk driving and stop the senseless deaths on our roadways caused by drunk drivers,” Senator Fuschillo added.
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