This blog has previously discussed New York’s Leandra’s Law and the consequences of violating the statute. Leandra’s Law makes driving under the influence of alcohol with children under the age of 16 in the vehicle a felony. A recent mishap in New Hyde Park underscores the public policy that motivated passage of the law.
At about 10:45 on a recent Saturday evening, an allegedly drunk driver crashed his pick-up truck into two cars near the Long Island Rail Road tracks. First responders found three children, ages 1, 2 and 4 in the back seat of the truck. None of the children was in an infant seat, and none was belted in. Fortunately, none of the children was injured.
The driver was charged with DWI, violation of Leandra’s Law, endangering the children and having unrestrained passengers under the age of 4. A first offense under Leandra’s Law is punishable as a Class E felony, with imprisonment of not more than 4 years. The driver pleaded not guilty to all of the charges, and his attorney said the charges were exaggerated.
Violation of Leandra’s Law is a serious accusation and should be treated as such by the accused person. Anyone facing such a charge or a charge of violating any of New York’s other DWI laws may wish to consult an attorney who specializes in such cases. A lawyer who is knowledgeable and experienced in defending drunk driving charges can provide a useful evaluation of the facts of the case, an enumeration of possible defenses and an assessment of the probability of obtaining a plea agreement or an acquittal.
Source: CBS New York, “L.I. Man Accused Of Driving Drunk, Crashing Pickup Truck With 3 Kids,” Jennifer McLogan, June 22, 2015