On June 23, 2011, Marta Amaro-Morales, 44, became the first driver in Westchester County to be convicted of a felony DWI under Leandra’ s Law, which first came into law in December of 2009. Pursuant to the provisions of Leandra’s Law, drivers charged with DWI with children under the age of 16 in the vehicle are charged with a felony, which cannot be pled down to a lower misdemeanor charge.
Ms. Amaro Morales was arrested on May 30, 2010 when she was driving on the Bear Mountain Parkway in Peekskill and state police claimed that she crossed a double yellow line on one side and the fog line on the other. In addition to the numerous DWI charges, she was also charged with unsafe lane change among other traffic infractions. Her children aged 7 and 11 were in the car with her, as was her 4 year old granddaughter, who was apparently not in a car seat. It was claimed that Amaro-Morales failed the three standardized field sobriety tests, which include the “Walk and Turn”, One Leg Stand” and what is known as the “Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus” test, which is an involuntary horizontal movement of the eyes that is alleged to indicate intoxication.
Amaro-Morales was found guilty of three felony counts of aggravated driving while intoxicated, two misdemeanor counts of DWI, and numerous traffic violations. Judge Barry Warhit issued the verdict after a four day bench (no jury) trial. She faces up to 4 years in prison on the felony charges.
Contact The White Plains DWI Lawyers online or toll free at (914) 428-7386 if you or a loved one are charged with DWI, another crime, or any traffic infraction, for a free consultation to discuss your specific case and what can be done to fight the charges against you.