Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) With A Child In the Vehicle

Vehicle and Traffic Law Section 1192.2 2-b (Leandra’s Law) reads as follows:  Aggravated driving while intoxicated. With a child. No person shall operate a motor vehicle in violation of subdivision two, three, four or four-a of this section while a child who is fifteen years of age or less is a passenger in such motor vehicle.

Leandra’s Law was recently passed by the New York State legislature and went into effect on August 15, 2010. The purpose of Leandra’s Law is to elevate the crime of Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) from a misdemeanor offense to a felony offense when a child who is fifteen years of age or younger is a passenger in a motor vehicle being operated by an intoxicated driver.

            The elevation of DWI from a misdemeanor to a felony results in substantial sentence enhancements. A misdemeanor is punishable by up to one year in jail whereas an E felony is punishable by up to four years in state prison. Additional sanctions for a violation of Leandra’s Law (§1192.2 2-b) include the following:

  • Automatic license suspension pending prosecution
  • Installation of an ignition interlock system for at least six months*
  • Up to 25 years in state prison when a child passenger under age 16 dies in a DWI crash
  • Up to 15 years in state prison when a child passenger under age 16 is injured in a DWI crash
  • Reporting by arresting agency to Statewide Central Register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment
  • A fine of $1,000.00 to $5,000.00 plus state surcharges

In light of these potentially serious consequences, it is important to retain the services of a qualified attorney to defend your case, even if you are a first time offender. The Law Office of David Galison P.C., will explore every defense to an allegation of DWI and will vigorously defend all charges against you. Just because you are alleged to have committed the offense of drunk driving (DWI) does not mean that you are guilty. People and equipment can make mistakes.

At the Law Office of David Galison, P.C., we strive to ensure that your rights are protected. If you are charged with an alcohol-related driving offense in Nassau, Suffolk or Queens County contact the Law Office of David Galison, P.C. at 516-242-4477 to schedule a FREE CONSULTATION to discuss your case.

For a complete reading of the DWI Statute for the State of New York visit: Consolidated Laws of The State of New York

*Links to ignition interlock device companies, with demonstration videos: