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A young mother with her three children in the back of the car was recently charged with DUI after wrecking her vehicle.  The New York woman allegedly crashed her vehicle into a light pole before fleeing with her children. However, there is still no evidence available to support the accusation that the woman was drunk at the time of the crash.

Despite this, this woman was still charged under Leandra’s Law because her young children were in the car with her, which makes the commission of a DUI with children in the vehicle a felony.  Although this case remains open, any time that children enter into the equation of a crime it is likely that law enforcement officials and prosecutors will be aggressive in their pursuit of a conviction.

This case highlights how seriously drunk driving offenses are taken by police departments and law enforcement around the nation.  Many officers will look for any reason to accuse a driver of being intoxicated, even when there are no field sobriety tests or Breathalyzer results to rely on. If there are sensational aspects of the event, authorities can be even more dedicated to making an arrest. The fact that this young woman allegedly endangered the life of her young children can factor negatively as her case plays out through the legal process.

 However, it is important to remember that charges and tickets for moving violations are not the same as proof of guilt. The same can be said for news stories about an event, which can often leave out the accused person’s side of the story. This case, like many others, could involve a medical event or dangerous drug reaction and not intoxication.

It can be very upsetting to see your name and picture printed next to criminal charges, or to learn that your license could be suspended because of serious or multiple traffic violations. However, it is crucial to remember that every person has the right to defend themselves against accusations. No matter how minor or severe these charges may seem, it can be helpful to work with an attorney to defend yourself and work to have them reduced or dismissed. 

Source: New York Post, "Mother arrested for driving drunk with her 3 young children,” Kirstan Conley, May 11, 2014

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