New York Drunk Driving–“Leandra’s Law”-Will It Pass?

Last month 11 year old Leandra Rosado was killed in a New York DWI accident on the Henry Hudson Parkway when the driver, 32 year old Carmen Huertas, lost control of the vehicle and it overturned. There were seven girls in the car between the ages of 11 and 14. Ms. Huertas was charged with vehicular manslaughter and driving while intoxicated.

As the result of this tragic accident, New York Governor David Paterson pushed “Leandra’s Law”, which would make it a felony to drive drunk with a child in the vehicle. Lenny Rosado, Leandra’s father, and MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) pushed for the bill’s passage. The New York State Senate was ready to approve the bill this past week, but apparently, Assembly Democrats, led by Speaker Sheldon Silver, sought to weaken the bill by making the penalty a misdemeanor rather than a felony unless the driver’s BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) is at least 0.18, more than twice the legal limit of 0.08.

Silver is sure to face some opposition and criticism for his attempt to weaken Leandra’s Law. In response, Governor Paterson suggested that the BAC for a violation of the law be increased so that a BAC of 0.13 could result in a felony, halfway between the legal limit and the level in the bill. MADD is also seeking to have a mandatory requirement that anyone convicted of a New York DWI be required to install ignition interlocks in their vehicle.

New York is now the third state in the United States to make it a felony to drive while intoxicated with a child in the car, and the 12th state to require ignition interlocks for motorists convicted of drunk driving.

Contact The White Plains Criminal Defense Attorneys at The Law Office Of Mark A. Siesel online or toll free at (914) 428-7386 if you are charged with a New York drunk driving offense, another crime, or a New York traffic violation for a free consultation with an experienced, knowledgeable attorney to discuss your legal rights and options.