A 25-year-old New York man was charged with DWI after police pulled him over early in the morning on Sept. 21. Officers said that the Long Island man failed to maintain his lane while driving on westbound Middle Country Road in Selden, prompting the traffic stop at about 3:30 a.m.
Officers conducted an interview during the traffic stop, after which they said he was impaired. They claimed that the man’s two daughters were riding with him in his 2012 Volkswagen Passat at the time of the traffic stop.
The officers took the man into custody and charged him with aggravated driving while intoxicated with a child 15 years old or younger and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child. The officers also issued him three summonses for traffic violations relating to the incident. An arraignment was scheduled for later in the day on Sept. 21.
Leandra’s Law in New York makes drunk driving a felony even on the first offense if a child under 15 years old was riding in the car at the time of the alleged offense. Since it is a felony, aggravated DWI with a child in the vehicle may carry harsh penalties such as probation and ignition interlock devices as minimums. The expense and burden of these penalties may make it difficult for people accused of DWI to return to their normal routines and move on after court. DWI defense attorneys may be able to work with prosecutors to secure less harsh penalties through a plea deal.
Source: New York State DMV, “Leandra’s Law & ignition interlock devices”
Source: CBS New York, “Long Island Dad With 2 Kids In Car Charged With DWI“, September 21, 2014