Following a traffic stop or an automobile accident, a driver could be arrested for violating a law. If the driver is charged with a DWI, this could lead to serious consequences. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the incident, the driver could face harsh penalties. With regards to misdemeanors or felony DWI’s, a driver could endure additional penalties regardless if this is their first offense or not.
In the state of New York, there is a law known as Leandra’s Law. This was signed into law in late 2009 and affects anyone sentenced for a DWI on or after August 15, 2010. The law was enacted in order to create harsher penalties for those who have a child in their car and are charged with a DWI. The law stems from an incident that involved a 11-year-old girl who died as a result of a DWI accident caused by her mother.
One requirement of this law is the installation of an interlock device in their vehicle. The installation and use of this device is required by those convicted of an aggravated DWI with a child in vehicle, child in vehicle DWI and driving with Blood Alcohol Content or BAC of .18 or more with a child in the vehicle. These DWI’s are considered a felony or misdemeanor and could carry the title of a Class E Felony regardless if this is their first DWI offense.
When an interlock device is required, the driver will have the device in their vehicle for at least 12 months. The driver is required to exhale into the device in order to start their vehicle. If they blow into the device and their BAC is higher than .025, their vehicle will not start. If this occurs, the driver could face additional consequences.
When a driver is accused of a serious DWI offense, it is important they understand the situation as well as the potential outcomes. This could help them strategize a defense against the pending charges. The driver could make a plea bargain or could defend the charges. No matter what route the defendant decides to take, they should investigate the situation in order to determine if some evidence used against them could be found inadmissible. This could help them reduce or dismiss the charges against them.
Those facing a DWI or other serious traffic offense should understand that they are entitled to a defense. This often means making a defense strategy against the charges in order to reduce the charges or avoid conviction of them. In order to make an educated decision regarding their defense plan, defendants may want to consider seeking guidance about their options.