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Tougher Drunk Driving Laws in New York

Governor David A. Patterson recently signed a new statute into law that affects individuals convicted of drunk driving. The new “Driving While Intoxicated” statute requires individuals convicted of drunk driving to install interlock devices in their cars.

The new law is referred to as “Leandra’s law”, named after Leandra Rosado, an eleven-year-old who was killed in a car crash in New York City when she was hit by a drunk driver.

A vehicle with an ignition interlock system cannot be driven unless the driver first blows into the device, which checks his or her blood alcohol level. The law also requires individuals convicted of driving while intoxicated to install global positioning systems in their vehicles at their own expense, and to keep them their for a minimum of six months.

Some lawyers argue that the new law requiring the interlock devices will cause more offenders to take their cases to trial, since installing such a device in a vehicle can be very costly. However, Marie McCormick, who heads the Nassau District Attorney’s Vehicular Crimes Bureau, stated in a Newsday article that the higher cost associated with going to trial would most likely dissuade many alleged offenders from taking this action.

New Felony Statute:

In December of this year, a law went into effect in New York which makes it a felony for an individual to drive while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs when there are children in the car.

Being charged with driving while intoxicated at one time was a minor offense. This is no longer true. Today, being convicted of a “DWI” can cause an individual to lose his or her license, pay a large fine, be incarcerated and now have to install an interlocking and global positioning device in his or her car.

Should you or a friend be faced with being charged for driving while intoxicated, it is crucial for you to have effective representation. Contact the Law Offices of Elliot S. Schlissel 1-800-344-6431, or by email.

Valley Stream, Lynbrook, Baldwin, Malverne, Freeport, Oceanside, Long Beach, Elmont, Lakeview, West Hempstead, Hempstead, Merrick, Bellmore