Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb, center, today joined Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, right, and Lenny Rosado, left, to call for the passage of Leandra’s Law.
The legislation (A.40008, S.66008, Governor’s Program Bill #204), referred to as “Leandra’s Law” in memory of Leandra Rosado, an 11-year-old who died in a drunk driving accident back in October, would require that any individual convicted of a DWI in New York State, and any person convicted of a DWI-related crime, have an ignition interlock installed in their vehicle as part of their sentence, along with any other possible criminal penalties including imprisonment or a fine. The public safety measure overwhelmingly passed the Assembly tonight by a non-partisan vote of 129-0.
Leandra’s Law makes it a felony to drive with a passenger, who is a child 15 years of age or younger, while intoxicated and/or with a blood alcohol content of .08. Persons found guilty under Leandra’s Law would face a possible prison sentence of up to 1-1/3-to-4 years for a first offense, making New York a national leader in cracking down on first-time DWI offenders who drive with a child passenger.
“Leandra’s Law will help keep intoxicated motorists off our roadways and, most importantly, send a crystal clear message to someone who might even think about trying to drive drunk with a child passenger,” Kolb said.
“The overwhelming, non-partisan passage of Leandra’s Law shows the depth of the Legislature’s commitment to making New York State a national leader in having the toughest laws on the books to prevent DWI and punish offenders. Our Conference’s prayers and condolences go out to the family of Leandra,” Kolb stated.
Ignition interlock devices stop drunk drivers from driving their car. Under Leandra’s Law, it would be a crime for a convicted driver to try and circumvent or interfere with the interlock, or get another person to try and do so. Courts also would be required to sentence all DWI offenders to use ignition interlocks.