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The aggressive enforcement and prosecution of drunk driving charges in Rockland County and throughout New York increase the likelihood that you could be arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated. Legislation to protect children from being driven by someone whose blood alcohol content level is above the legal limit can lead to a felony conviction.

Under Leandra’s law, a DUI charge becomes aggravated driving while intoxicated if a child is a passenger in a vehicle driven by a drunk driver. New York is one of 36 states to have enacted laws designed to protect children who could be endangered by the actions of someone who has too much to drink before driving.

Besides a felony drunk driving  charge, a person could be charged with endangering the welfare of a child for driving with a BAC level above the legal limit with a child in the vehicle. This is what happened recently to a woman who had a two young children in her car was she was pulled over by police.

An adult passenger who was also in the vehicle was arrested and charged with committing the crime of endangering the welfare of a child. The driver was charged with child endangerment, but she was also charged with aggravated DUI because of the two children in the back of her vehicle. Leandra’s Law applies when a child in the vehicle is under 15 years of age.

The penalties associated with a DWI charge may include imprisonment, fines, license suspension and the mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device. A criminal defense attorney is an excellent source of legal advice and guidance for anyone facing driving while intoxicated charges in New York.

Source: Star Gazette, “Felony DWI charge for Waverly woman under Leandra’s Law,” Ray Finger, Sept. 9, 2015

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