Intoxicated driving is more than just a crime. It is a grave threat to the safety of every other person on the road. Far too often, New York's news reports are filled with stories of innocent people who are killed or injured at the hands of intoxicated motorists.
This week, another name was added to that list when a Bronx man was killed in a hit-and-run accident. The driver was ultimately apprehended and was found to be under the influence of both alcohol and marijuana. Police say his blood alcohol content was 0.234 percent at the time of the crash.
The driver stands accused of hitting two pedestrians after running a red light at the intersection of East 170th Street and Grand Concourse. He did not stop after hitting the pedestrians, and was caught only after he crashed his vehicle into an ambulance that was on its way to help the injured victims.
One of the pedestrians died at the scene of the accident. The other was hospitalized with internal injuries and several broken bones. The ambulance driver had his arm burned in the crash.
The driver has been charged with a number of crimes including aggravated vehicular homicide, vehicular manslaughter, assault, DWI and leaving the scene of an accident. He was not offered bail and is expected to appear in court later this month.
Of course, criminal charges aren't the only way to hold a drunk driver accountable after a serious accident. Injured victims - and the families of those wrongfully killed - can bring civil suits to seek financial compensation for their losses. While nothing can make the hurt go away, a lawsuit can force a drunk driver to take responsibility for his or her actions.