Eleven year old Leandra Rosado was on her way to a slumber party, riding in a vehicle with 7 little girls and one mother. The mother later found to have been driving intoxicated, lost control of the speeding vehicle, flipping it and killing Leandra. It was her, this eleven year old victim, which the relatively new “Leandra’s Law” was named, a law the New York Daily News reports is proving effective.
The law increased penalties for people found to have been driving drunk with children in the car. The latest numbers show that 7/10 of those sentenced under the new law faced felony convictions. More than 40% of them served at least some time in jail or prison. This, they say, is evidence of the laws effectiveness.
Among other things, those caught driving drunk with someone under the age of 16 in their car, would be charged with a felony and face up to 4 years in prison. They would also be required to have an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicle when their driving privileges were reinstated.
Leandra’s father was one who championed for the new DWI laws, and given the name Leandra’s Law. He is said to be encouraged by the actions of prosecutors to make the new felony charges stick, rather than pleading cases down to misdemeanors.
One can only hope those sentenced under the new law will emerge on the other side of the system as changed. Putting youth at risk because of a bad choice is definitely reprehensible and one shouldn’t downplay the seriousness of driving drunk with a child in the car.
But while the law can in fact be considered a “success” in doling out harsher punishments, it’s hoped the people who are sentenced under it also get help for any alcohol abuse problems they might have. Treating the addiction, if there is one, could prevent future similar DWI charges even more than a longer jail stint could.
When you’re facing drunk driving charges, whether it’s your first time or it’s your third offense, you want to be sure you have an advocate in the courts. The laws are designed to punish drunk drivers with a heavy hand and it can feel like no one has your best interests in mind. If you’re facing such charges, contact us today.