(S. 66008-Dilan/A. 40008-Weisenberg) The Child Passenger Protection Act was signed into law November 18, 2009 after both the New York State Senate and Assembly passed it unanimously during a Special Session. The bill also called Leandra’s Law, was named after Leandra Rosado who died at the age of 11 as a passenger in a vehicle driven by a drunk driver. Leandra’s father, Lenny Rosado was in attendance when the bill passed the Senate and when Governor Paterson officially signed the bill. The law would require first time drunk driving offenders who have someone in their vehicle age 15 and under to have an ignition interlock system installed, their license suspended, and may be charged with a Class E. Felony. The punishment would increase if the child is harmed or at worst dies which would bring a Class B Felony and 25 years in prison.
Senator Shirley L. Huntley (D-Jamaica) stood up to express her support of the bill and why Driving While Intoxicated is a serious and sometimes deadly crime. In 1977 her good friend and neighbor left her home to celebrate the Easter Holiday with family, unfortunately never to return. On her way back home she was hit by a drunk driver and crashed into an embankment where she drowned. The loss of this life was unfair and untimely, and Senator Huntley felt that those precious lives lost which included her friends’ two sons were undeserved. Senator Huntley felt that Leandra’s Law would not only save lives, it will save families.