There were two significant events involving drunk drivers in New York this week. First, this past Wednesday, continuing a troubling trend which we discussed on April 8, 2007 in a post entitled “Mothers Drunk Driving In New York–An Epidemic?”, 44 year old Yorktown resident Almudena Paulstich lost control of her car, struck a stone pillar, and landed in a ditch with her three children ages 3, 10 and 12 in the vehicle. According to state police, Ms. Paulstich had a blood alcohol level of .16 at the time of the accident, double the legal limit of intoxication. Ms. Paulstich was charged with misdemeanor driving while intoxicated and appeared in Somers Town Court this week.
Also this week, 46 year old Lisa Shipp was sentenced by Westchester County Court Judge Robert Dibella to a three to nine year prison sentence for the death of an Ossining father of three, Legista Beckford, as the result of a New York drunk driving accident which occurred on October 12, 2006. Ms. Shipp pled guilty to second degree manslaughter, vehicular manslaughter, driving while intoxicated, driving under the influence of drugs, and several traffic violations related to the accident in which she rear ended Mr. Beckford’s car on the northbound Sprain Brook Parkway, causing Mr. Beckford to lose control of his vehicle, plummet down a 25 foot hill and crash into a tree. Mr. Beckford died on impact. When Ms. Shipp was arrested, she was found to have a open vodka bottle in the car, and a blood alcohol level of .24, three times the legal limit.