Over 650 Arrests Since Law’s Enactment One Year Ago
Over 650 individuals have been arrested under Leandra’s Law for driving drunk with a child in the car since the law took effect last December, according to Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick).
“Children riding in a car with a drunk driver are defenseless hostages in a dangerous situation. Leandra’s Law ensures that drunk drivers who endanger children’s lives face felony charges. The over 650 Leandra’s Law arrests thus far justify as to why this law was needed in New York State,” said Senator Fuschillo.
Under Leandra’s Law, one of the nation’s toughest anti-DWI laws, those who drive drunk with a child in the car face class E felony charges punishable by up to 4 years in prison. The law also raised penalties for cases where the drunk driver kills or seriously injures a child. Drunk drivers who cause the death of a child riding in their car face up to 25 years in prison. Those who seriously injure their child passenger in a DWI crash face up to 15 years in prison.
Leandra’s Law also expanded the use of ignition interlocks, which are breath test devices that prevent a vehicle from starting if it detects alcohol in the driver’s breath. Included in the law, effective August 15, 2010, drivers convicted of a DWI offense in New York State are prohibited from operating a vehicle without having an ignition interlock installed.
Statistics from the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services showed 653 Leandra’s Law arrests in New York State between December 18, 2009 (the day the law took effect) and December 13, 2010. 105 of those arrests were made on Long Island, with Suffolk County’s 66 leading all counties in the state.
Leandra’s Law is named after 11 year old Leandra Rosado, who was killed while riding in a car that crashed along the Henry Hudson Parkway in October of 2009.