Leandra’s Law was named in honor of Leandra Rosado, an 11 year old girl who was killed while she rode in a car with the intoxicated mother of one of her friends. In response to this tragedy, the NYS Legislature made several changes to the Vehicle and Traffic Law (VTL):
· First time offenders driving while intoxicated (.08 Blood Alcohol Content [BAC] or more) or impaired by drugs, with a 15 year old or younger child passenger can be charged with a class E felony punishable by up to 4 years in prison.
· People charged with driving with a blood alcohol level of .08 or greater with a 15 year old or younger child passenger automatically have their license suspended during the criminal case.
· Drivers who drive while intoxicated or impaired by drugs and cause the death of a 15 year old or younger child passenger may be charged with a Class B felony, punishable by up to 25 years in State prison.
· Drivers who drive while intoxicated or impaired by drugs and cause serious physical injury to a 15 year old or younger child passenger may be charged with the Class C felony, punishable by up to 15 years in State prison.
· Even if no child is in the vehicle, anyone convicted of any felony or misdemeanor drunk driving offense is sentenced – in addition to any fine, jail or prison sentence – to a period of probation or conditional discharge. During that period, the driver is required to install and maintain an Ignition Interlock Device, for at least 12 months, in any motor vehicle he or she owns or operates. The driver also has an ignition interlock restriction added to his or her driver’s license.
· A parent, guardian, custodian or anyone legally responsible for a child who is charged with driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs while that child is a passenger in the car is reported to the Statewide Central Register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment by the arresting agency.
For more information visit: nycourts.gov