Safe driving

To the editor:

As the North Country begins to open again, we want to remind people to be safe behind the wheel. With warm weather, we are concerned about alcohol-related automobile accidents.

Lake Placid/Wilmington Connecting Youth and Communities Coalition Inc., Lake Placid Police Chief William Moore, New York State Troop B Maj. Darrin Pitkin, Essex County Sheriff David Reynolds and Essex County District Attorney Kristy Sprague join together to remind everyone that excessive drinking and driving is a serious offense with serious consequences to the offenders and to their victims. Not only do offenders risk harming themselves but also their passengers and anyone else who happens to be in their path.

On Nov. 18, 2009, Leandra’s Law was passed. It was named after 11-year-old Leandra Rosado, who was killed in a crash while a passenger in a car driven by a drunk driver. With the passage of the law, New York mandated installation of an ignition interlock device for all drivers convicted of misdemeanor and felony drunk driving. A person who has interlock ignition on their vehicle must blow into the device to prove that they have not consumed alcohol. If the device detects alcohol, the vehicle will not operate. The law also created a new Class E felony charge for driving while intoxicated with a child passenger 15 years old or younger in the car.

Sheriff Reynolds, Chief Moore, Maj. Pitkin and District Attorney Sprague feel a special responsibility for keeping our roads safe, but you, the driving public, are where the responsibility is greatest. We know and understand the risks and we appreciate your dedication to safe driving, both on your own and hopefully as a designated driver for someone else.

We would like to assure everyone that even though COVID-19 has changed the way we approach enforcement, we are still out there every day looking for drunk drivers. As our region and state begin to reopen, our troopers, deputies and patrolmen will be out in full force with a zero-tolerance policy on drunken driving.

We wish everyone health and safety as we head into the warmer months.

David Reynolds, sheriff, Essex County

William Moore, chief, Lake Placid Police Department

Maj. Darrin Pitkin, commander, New York State Police Troop B

Kristy Sprague, district attorney, Essex County

Tina Clark, president, Lake Placid-Wilmington Connecting Youth and Communities