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Understanding Leandra’s Law

New Yorkers who are charged with a DWI may want to understand how Leandra’s Law may impact them. Leandra’s Law, which was passed in 2009, specifically targets offenders who drive with a child under the age of 15 as a passenger and drivers who have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.18 or higher.

People who are charged with drunk driving with a child under the age of 15 as a passenger now face class E felonies if they are convicted. People who are charged either for that offense or for aggravated DWIs with blood alcohol concentrations of 0.18 or higher must be sentenced to probation or a conditional release. In addition, they must have ignition interlock devices installed on their vehicles. The people must use the devices for 12 months in every car that they own or operate.

Ignition interlock devices prevent people from starting their vehicles unless they are able to provide clean breath samples. People have the ignition interlock restriction listed on the backs of their drivers’ licenses. In order to have them removed, they will need to take the form provided to them by their ignition interlock provider showing that they no longer need them to the DMV.

When a person is facing a DWI charge, one may face multiple penalties. When a person has multiple offenses, the penalties are more severe. A criminal defense attorney who is experienced in defending against DWI charges might be able to negotiate a plea to a lesser charge with fewer penalties. This may help a defendant avoid having to use an ignition interlock device, potential jail sentences and other penalties.

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