The arrest and indictment of a Long Island woman once again demonstrates the potentially harsh legal consequences of driving while intoxicated and while children are in the car. We have written earlier about “Leandra’s Law,” the New York statute that makes operating a car while intoxicated and with children under the age of 15 in the car a felony. A recent case involving a woman from Amityville, who was arrested for DWI, shows how Leandra’s Law works.
The woman was picking up her 5-year-old child after school when a security guard spotted her driving in a haphazard and reckless manner. She drove up onto the sidewalk and narrowly missed colliding with a school bus. When the guard allegedly smelled alcohol on her breath, he called the police. The woman was arrested and subjected to a test to determine her blood alcohol content (BAC). According to police, the test showed that her BAC was 0.17 percent, more than twice the legal limit of 0.08 percent.
A grand jury has indicted her for 16 DWI offenses, including six violations of Leandra’s law, felony DWI, endangering the welfare of a child, circumvention of an ignition interlock device and driving with a suspended driver’s license. The ignition interlock device and suspended license were some of the consequences of a prior DWI conviction in 2013. The woman pleaded not guilty to all charges and is being held on a $30,000 cash bail or $90,000 bond.
If this woman is convicted of the charges against her, she could face a substantial fine and jail sentence. Any person who is charged with violating Leandra’s law would benefit from a consultation with an attorney who specializes in this kind of case. A knowledgeable attorney can evaluate the facts, identify possible defenses, e.g., problems with the blood test, and advise the client about the chances of obtaining an acquittal.
Source: Long Island Exchange, “INDICTMENT UNSEALED FOR AMITYVILLE MOTHER WHO DROVE DRUNK WITH 3 CHILD PASSENGERS,” March 25, 2015