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New York state has the opportunity to take stronger actions to reduce drunk driving. In January, state Assemblymember Ortiz introduced bill A02302A. The bill would reduce the blood alcohol limit for DWIs from .08 to .05 and the limit for aggravated DWI from .18 to .12. This measure is supported by a study from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, which includes lower DWI limits as one of their recommendations for reducing drunk driving. Drunk driving and other alcohol-based harms cause far too much damage to our society and destroy far too many lives. Drunk driving causes hundreds of thousands of accidents in country each year, and results in over 10,000 deaths a year.

This bill can help to reduce some of these problems. But it will take the voices and advocacy of New Yorkers in order to help get it passed. If you would like to see the state take stronger efforts to reduce drunk driving, then spread the word, contact members of the state Assembly and state Senate and encourage them to support this bill. You can find the contact information for members of the state Assembly, and can track the progress of the bill, by going to the New York State Assembly website: You can find contact information for the state Senate on the New York State Senate website:

Jonathan Makeley