Attorney Representing
Upstate New York Drivers

What is Leandra’s Law?

| Jan 4, 2021 | Dwi Defense |

Many laws are put into place after something tragic but preventable happens to an innocent person. This is the case with Leandra’s law. Leandra was an 11-year-old who died when she was riding in a vehicle driven by her friend’s mother, who was intoxicated. In an effort to honor the girl’s life and prevent something so tragic from occurring again in New York, the New York State Legislature made some adjustments to the Vehicle and Traffic Law (VTL).

The changes in the law became known as Leandra’s law. If you have been accused of driving while intoxicated in New York or if you believe that you have a high chance of driving while intoxicated in the future because of alcoholism, make sure that you fully understand how the law applies to you.

Strengthened penalties for those who drive intoxicated with a child

Leandra’s law established a strengthened penalty for an aggravated DWI: driving intoxicated with a child in the vehicle. If a child who is 15 years of age or younger is a passenger in a vehicle and the driver is intoxicated, they will face Class E felony charges.

Ignition interlock requirement

The law also introduced ignition interlock requirements as an additional penalty in response to certain DWI charges. If a person was found guilty of aggravated DWI, driving intoxicated with a child in the vehicle or driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.18 or more, there will be a period of probation. This means that the convicted driver must install and use an ignition interlock device on any vehicles that they use or own for at least 12 months.

An ignition interlock device is fitted into a vehicle and requires that a driver test their BAC before being able to operate the vehicle. If their BAC is over the limit, the ignition will not be able to be activated.

If you have been accused of a DWI and you are concerned about the ways that Leandra’s Law may affect you, it is important that you understand the defense options available to you.