Senate Passes Bill Leaf-brandi Woods Law

Martin J. Golden

May 10, 2006

The New York State Senate today passed the Bill Leaf-Brandi Woods Law (S.7233), sponsored by Senator John DeFrancisco (R-C-I-WF, Syracuse), which would increase penalties for certain vehicular crimes committed by persons who have previously been convicted on one or more occasions of an alcohol or drug related driving while intoxicated charge or driving while ability
impaired charge.

The legislation is named for 25 year old Bill Leaf, a prominent Syracuse area reporter and sports anchor who will killed by a drunk driver traveling the wrong way on Interstate 81 and Brandi Woods, a 15 year old girl from Memphis, New York who was delivering Girl Scout cookies when she
was struck and killed by a drunk driver. Both drivers had a history of drunk driving offenses.

“Drinking and driving is a senseless act that causes unnecessary pain and tragedy,” said Senator Bruno. “This bill will allow us to continue our efforts to make New York’s roadways the safest in the nation. We have consistently sent a strong message that we will not tolerate drivers who
place their lives, and the lives of innocent bystanders, at risk because they repeatedly make the wrong choice to drink and get behind the wheel of a vehicle. I hope the Assembly joins us in passing this bill so we can prevent more senseless tragedies like the deaths of Bill Leaf and Brandi

“By passing the Bill Leaf-Brandi Woods Law we are sending a strong message that we will not tolerate repeated drinking and driving offenses, and that if an individual continues to make irresponsible choices there will be serious consequences,” said Senator Golden. “It’s deplorable when
someone with a prior DWI offense escapes punishment and is back out on the street putting others at risk because they repeatedly choose to drink and drive. It’s even more heinous when they kill or injure innocent victims. This is exactly what occurred when Bill Leaf and Brandi Woods were
tragically killed. These were two promising young adults who were taken from us because two individuals with prior offenses made irresponsible and selfish choices to get behind the wheel of their vehicles while under the influence of alcohol.”

The bill was sent to the Assembly.