Albany, NY (WBEN) The State Senate has unanimously approved Alix's Law, which would make it illegal for a driver to leave the scene after hitting any object or person.
On July 8, 2011, 18-year-old Alix Rice was killed by a drunk driver as she road home on her longboard. The driver, Dr. James Corasanti, argued that he was not aware he had hit a person and he was acquitted on the felony charge of leaving the scene of an accident.
“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,” said Senator Patrick Gallivan. “This bill will close a dangerous loophole in the state’s vehicle and traffic law, and give prosecutors the tools necessary to ensure that intoxicated drivers are held accountable for the tragic outcomes of their actions.”
The current law only requires drivers to report an accident when they know or have reason to know the accident resulted in an injury or property damage. Under this loophole, drunk drivers are able to flee the scene of an accident they caused and later claim they did not know any injury or damage occurred. Alix’s Law would close that loophole so that drunk drivers are held responsible for leaving the scene of an accident.
Last week, Gallivan told WBEN he believed there would be enough time for the Assembly to pass the bill and send it to Governor Cuomo for his signature.