L.I. DAs Band Together To Stop Wrong-Way Crashes

Spota, Rice Ready To Really Lower The Boom On Drunk Drivers

RIVERHEAD, N.Y. (CBS 2/WCBS 880/1010 WINS) — Each year in America more than 1,000 lives are claimed by “wrong-way” drivers.

On Tuesday, Long Island’s district attorneys called for new studies and harsher penalties as charges were upgraded against the wrong-way drunk driver accused of killing a cop, reports CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan.

victimscar honda L.I. DAs Band Together To Stop Wrong Way Crashes

Smashed car of NYPD Police Officer Andre Menzies, who died in wrong way crash on Northern State Pkway. (Credit: Suffolk DA)

The distraught family of the New York City Police officer killed in the horrifying wrong-way crash was speechless. They had just learned from Suffolk County’s district attorney that the accused drunk’s blood-alcohol level was more than three times the legal limit when suspect Michael Bowen allegedly drove west against eastbound traffic and head on into Officer Andres Menzies, leaving his grieving widow with five children.

“I can’t bring her husband back, but I can prosecute this man to the fullest extent of the law which I intend to do,” Suffolk DA Thomas Spota said.

The police officer lost his life in the mangled wreck on the Northern Parkway. Twenty-four hours later another innocent motorist — this one on the Long Island Expressway — was almost killed by another wrong-way driver. Police said a 22-year-old woman was intoxicated and behind the wheel of what became twisted metal.

WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs reports

1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera reports

WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reports on the arraignment

“In light of the recent rash of wrong-way drunk drivers on our roads, I sent a letter to the Department of Transportation,” Nassau County DA Kathleen Rice said.

Rice has requested a formal study to determine if rumble strips, lower signs, fog line reflectors, and red glow lighting might help warn drunks they are going the wrong way.

She said her community is still seeking answers four years after the Meadowbrook wrong-way crash that claimed the lives of a flower girl and a limo driver, and a year after seven lives were lost, including four children from Long Island, in the Diane Schuler wrong-way crash on the Taconic State Parkway in Westchester County.

“No more second chances. That’s what we are taking away,” State Sen. Charles Fuschillo, R-Merrick, said Tuesday.

In light of the drunk crashes Fuschillo proposed a new bill on Tuesday that would require mandatory jail time for repeat DWI offenders.

Because as unbelievable as it seems a New York judge right now has the option of sentencing those repeat drunk drivers to nothing more than community service.

Bowen, 50, pleaded not guilty to upgraded aggravated vehicular homicide charges involving the NYPD officer. Prosecutors said Bowen was so drunk at the scene he thought he was on another road in another county.

More from Sophia Hall
  • Kat

    When I go out with my friends and I’m driving, I don’t drink. Period. If you go out with your car you have to know that at some point later that day, you’re going to have to drive that car home. You have a choice of whether or not you’re going to drink. Therefore, drinking an alcoholic beverage before you drive is an intentional act. You are intentionally doing something that will impair you when you get behind the wheel of your car. For the life of me, I can’t understand why drunk driving crimes aren’t taken more seriously. Driving drunk is no different than shooting a loaded gun into a crowd.

  • Jan van den Ende

    Any one caught drunk driving the first time should have their drivers licence revoked for life…no excuses. These. people are killing people and know one really isnt protecting the public against them. we just need some one with guts to stand up to these idiots and do the right thing Just remember a drivers license is a priviledge not a guarantee.

  • Joannie

    How about First Degree Murder for anyone who drinks and drives – they are, afterall, intentionally/knowingly breaking the law by driving while intoxicated!

    • KPMc

      Anyone who drinks and drives? Or would an actual death have to occur first?

      • Sick of Drunkards

        You know very well that you and your fellow drunkards are deaths waiting to happen.

  • Sick of Drunkards

    There is only one way to stop Murderous Drunkards:


    But politicians will never vote for this. They’re all drunken liars.

  • jtorres

    I agree witht he ideas of license revocation but unfortunately that won’t stop drunk drivers. They knew it’s against the law and they did it anyway. They will liquor up and get behind the wheel license or no. Jail is a better solution. A car in the hands of a drunk driver is a deadly weapon same as a gun. You lock up someone for criminal possession of a weapon. Do the same to drunk drivers

  • Moe

    They should just make the roads safer for those who are driving while under the influence.

  • Sanity Clause

    Here’s the solution: Any DUI/DWI conviction = permanent loss of drivers license.

    It’s so obvious, even a politician could understand it.

  • rudy

    Signs won’t work if the drunks could see they would not get on the wrong way to begin with. Are all politicians stupid or do they practice?

  • NY Chris

    Wow Rice you have stooped to a new liberal low!!!!!!!! We just buried a poor cop who lost his life coming home from work and you want to fix the signs for the drunks.
    How about this:
    1) 1st Offense Revoke license for 2 years 8 months in jail
    2) 2nd Offense Revoke license for 5 years and 5 years in jail
    3) 3rd Offense Revoke license for 10 years and 10 years in jail

    Lady, you are despicable!!!

    • JMB

      Even better…ONE conviction of drunk driving REVOKE LICENSE FOR LIFE!!!!!

      • Devenio

        Here’s a even better idea… Redefine Alcohol as a drug. Make it a class A felony to consume it. Strong drink causes more death than all other drugs COMBINED but I guess our elected officials are making too much money from it to outlaw it.

  • Hiran

    Couldn’t have agreed more with you.

    As if someone so drunk, who couldn’t figure the right side of the road, would pay attention to road signs.

  • Steve M.

    “District Attorney Kathleen Rice on Monday sent a letter to the state Department of Transportation asking it to consider adding warnings along highways to alert drunk drivers driving the wrong way.”…Here’s an idea; get these drunks off the road permanently, instead of light suspensions and fines……Fix the road? ridiculous; FIX THE DRIVER!

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