Abbigail’s Law is a Lesson for Alcohol Awareness

by: Mike Miller

When was the last time you saw our nation’s Congress or any State Congress for that matter, agree on anything? I can tell you I cannot remember the last time partisan interests did not come into play regarding a vote from anything from gay marriage to how long the average person should sit in an outhouse.

That is why the New York State Senate’s vote on Abbigail’s Law recently comes as such a surprise. Of course, to me, it seems like a no-brainer!

Abbigail’s Law

Abbagail's Law would make it clear that any individual acting as a supervising driver while under the influence of alcohol or drugs shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor. It also creates the crime of aggravated supervising a driver while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, which shall be a Class E felony.

The New York State Senate approved legislation known as ''Abbagail's Law'' in a 56-1 vote.

The measure is named for Abbagail Buzard, an 8-year old girl from Orleans County who was killed in an automobile accident on the night of Sept. 4, 2009. After drinking at a family party, Abby's father convinced a 17-year old cousin who had a learner's permit to drive him to a store to buy more alcohol. Unfortunately, Abby was in the car, and she lost her life after the inexperienced driver crashed after speeding on a curvy rural road.

While the driver that night violated numerous laws, Abby's father could not be held criminally responsible even though he was supposed to be the supervising adult in the car.

Hopefully, laws like this will continue to promote and enforce alcohol awareness.