Rensselaer County DA hosts annual DWI memorial ceremony - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Rensselaer County DA hosts annual DWI memorial ceremony

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TROY, N.Y. - District Attorney Richard McNally will add two new names to the Rensselaer County DWI Memorial at the 13th annual ceremony Tuesday morning.

Kyle Dobert, 20, and his girlfriend, Alisha Schoonmaker, 20 were killed in a 2011 DWI crash. Prosecutors say Dobert's father, 51-year-old Philip Dobert, had a blood alcohol level more than twice the legal limit when he lost control of the vehicle he was driving near the Schaghticoke Fairgrounds. They say he was driving at least 75 miles per hour in a 35 mile per hour speed zone when he crashed into a utility pole.

McNally said the county memorial, located at 13th and Congress streets in Troy, sends an important message about the dangers of driving under the influence.

"This is about getting the message out there and letting people know," McNally said. "In my lifetime it's gone from almost actively condoned to no tolerance. If somebody drinks and drives, they are going to get in trouble and they are going to get arrested."

It also serves as way to remember those who have lost their lives to drunk drivers. Since 2011, there have been five more deaths related to driving while intoxicated in the city.

Still, Kyle and Alisha are the first names to be added to the memorial in several years because cases must go through the legal system first.

Philip Dobert accepted a plea that sentenced him to seven to 21 years in prison. 

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