New York is one of the toughest states in the country when it comes to drunk driving. For example, Leandra’s Law was enacted after an eleven-year-old girl died in a car crash because her adult driver had been drinking beforehand. Leandra’s law says that driving with any person 15 or younger, with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08, is a felony DWI. Violating that law brings harsh penalties that are above the already strict, mandatory ignition interlock requirement for all offenders.
New York’s mandatory ignition interlock requirement has been an example for the entire U.S.
All DWI traffic violations are prosecuted as serious criminal offenses in New York. Depending on the number of offenses and the circumstances that occurred during the incidents, the courts may fine, imprison or sentence the violator to probation. Their license will also be suspended and in order to drive legally, the offender will have an ignition interlock device installed in their car. The mandatory ignition interlock requirement helps prevents the driver from operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. This also implies they may not operate any vehicle under their restricted license legally and be required to abide by court laws. The first violation is considered a misdemeanor, but can result in removal from the program.
Since Leandra’s Law was enacted in New York, many states have enacted similar child endangerment and mandatory ignition interlock laws. A child has little to no say about the person driving them around, much less how much they’ve had to drink, so a drunk driving charge that involves children is seen as a more serious one. In that sense, more states are looking to the state of New York for an example of how to treat drunk drivers fairly, while ensuring that no other little lives are lost at the hand of a drunk driver.