NYS Sen. Carlucci Addresses Summer Uptick in Drunk Driving
by Ethan Morel
For most Americans, the 4th of July is a time of celebration. It is a commemoration of America’s independence. It is a time to enjoy summer weather, to barbecue, watch fireworks light the sky, and reflect on the glory of the original BREXIT.
But on June 28th, at the Veterans Plaza in Nyack, NYS Senator David Carlucci took the podium to let residents know that this is also one of the most dangerous times of the year. (And not just because of shark attacks.)
“We’re in the midst of the 100 deadliest days of summer,” Carlucci told the crowd.
Carlucci was referring to the 100 day period after Memorial Day, when, according to him, “over ten thousand people are killed each year in drinking and driving accidents.”
According to USA Today, AAA found that “an average of 1,022 people–more than 10 per day–died during the 100 days after Memorial Day.” And most of the people involved in these crashes are teenagers who are off from school.
Senator Carlucci put a face to these tragedies when he stepped down from the podium to allow Anastasia Karassik, a mother who lost her child during the 100 deadliest days, to speak. “This was an avoidable, fatal car accident, due to one person’s poor choices,” Karassik said. “This did not have to happen.”
On May 23, 2015, Karassik’s daughter, Larisa Alexandra Karassik, lost her life in an automobile accident. She was hit by a man who had two previous drunk driving convictions. The driver also died.
Ever since Larisa’s death, the Karassik family has been working with Senator Carlucci to help toughen the laws for repeat drunk driving offenders. This year, Senator Carlucci and his committee have helped implement new ride-sharing programs to prevent future losses.
Susan Hendricks, a spokesperson for Uber, added that there are new options for getting home safely. “We are thrilled to announce that this Thursday Uber will be another option for ride sharing. It will be available here in Nyack and throughout the state,” she said. “Uber can make New York communities safer places to live by helping reduce instances of drunk driving.”
When people decide to drink and drive, everyone loses. Drivers get a minimum of $500-$1000 fine and a year in jail if it’s their first offense, and a maximum of $2,000-$10,000 charge with at least seven years in jail if it’s their third offense.
This weekend alone, over 16 million cases of beer will be sold in the United States. Senator Carlucci asked the people of Rockland County to use common sense in order to avoid any more tragic accidents.
Ethan Morel is a Nyack News & Views intern. He attends St. Thomas Aquinas College.