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What is Leandra's Law when charged with DWI?


When a person faces drunk driving charges in the Upstate New York, there are certain laws that they might not be aware of, but carry various penalties if there is a conviction. One is known as "Leandra's Law." This law was named as such after a child named Leandra died in a car crash with the mother of a friend while the mother was intoxicated.

The law enhanced the penalties that drunk drivers face. If a person was convicted of DWI from August 15, 2010 onward, an ignition interlock device will be placed on their vehicle. In addition, there will be an ignition interlock restriction on the driver's license. There are different parts to Leandra's Law. If a person has a child 16-years-old or younger in the vehicle and is intoxicated whether it be from using alcohol or drugs, it is aggravated DWI with a child in the vehicle and a Class E felony.

If there is a conviction on a first offense on this charge and the person has a blood-alcohol concentration of .08 or higher, there can be up to four years in prison. There will also be the requirement to have the ignition interlock device installed in the vehicle the person owns or operates. The device will stay on the vehicle for a minimum of 12 months unless the court says otherwise. The driver must blow into the machine to show the BAC is acceptable. It will not start otherwise. The ignition interlock restriction will be on the driver's license even if the license has been revoked.

For people who have been charged with driving under the influence and the violation falls into the category of Leandra's Law, these penalties can be problematic to multiple areas of their life. To try and avoid these penalties, it is important to formulate a strong defense. Speaking to a legal professional who is experienced in defending clients charged with DWI and Leandra's Law is imperative.

Source: criminaljustice.ny.gov, "Child Passenger Protection Act/Ignition Interlock Provision Fact Sheet," accessed on July 30, 2017

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