New York State has a Child Passenger Protection Act that is also called Leandra’s Law. This law was named for a girl who was killed in a crash when she was 11 years old. The driver of the car in which Leandra was a passenger was impaired, and he later pleaded guilty to drunk driving charges. A driver in Farmingville is facing similar charges after he was arrested on a recent Sunday.
According to an arrest report, a 911 call was made by an employee of a fast-food restaurant who reported that a man in a Jeep fell asleep in the drive-thru lane. Police responded to the scene and located the vehicle, which was occupied by the suspected drunk driver and two toddlers. When police arrived at the restaurant, the man had woken up, and they followed as the man drove to the parking lot of a gas station.
Officers determined that the two children in the car were the 3- and 4-year-old sons of the alleged impaired driver. The father was arrested and charged under Leandra’s Law for aggravated drunk driving with a passenger 15 years old or younger — an automatic felony even for a first-time offense. He also received two child endangering counts. The children’s mother took custody of the boys.
This report made no mention of the driver’s level of intoxication nor the methods used to determine his blood alcohol level. Drivers who face drunk driving charges in New York can seek the support and guidance of an experienced DUI defense attorney to advocate for them and protect their legal rights. After assessing the circumstances of the arrest along with the charges and evidence, a lawyer can devise a defense strategy to obtain the best possible outcome.
Source: CBS New York, “Driver Arrested After Falling Asleep In McD’s Drive-Thru Lane With 2 Children In Car”, May 20. 2018