Leandra's Law (Child Passenger Protection Act) is a New York State law making it an automatic felony on the first offense to drive drunk with a person age 15 or younger inside the vehicle, and setting the blood alcohol content, or BAC, at 0.08. The bill was unanimously passed by the New York State Assembly and the New York State Senate and then signed into law by Governor David Paterson on November 18, 2009.
Leandra Rosado, an 11-year-old girl, was killed on the Henry Hudson Parkway in New York City on October 11, 2009 when her friend's mother, Carmen Huertas, lost control of the car they were in while allegedly under the influence of alcohol. The car, driving 68 miles per hour in a 50 mile per hour zone, flipped over on the highway Six other children were also injured during the incident. Huertas pled guilty to all charges filed against her and was sentenced to four to twelve years in prison on October 29, 2010.
Pursuant to New York Vehicle Traffic Law Section 1192 2-a(b), any person operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated and transporting a child is guilty of a Class E Felony. In the event that reckless driving and death or serious physical injury is a factor, an individual is guilty of a class D felony. Defendants convicted under the new law face a prison sentence of up to four years and a fine of $1000–$5000. The installation of a mandatory ignition interlock device for a term of at least six months is also an expected provision of sentencing (mandatory for all DWI offenses committed after August 15, 2010). Moreover, licenses are automatically suspended pending prosecution and once proven guilty, the person will be reported to the Statewide Central Register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment and his/her license will be suspended for a minimum of twelve months. First time and repeat offenders are charged with an E level felony, regardless of criminal record.
- Dilan, Martin Malavé (18 November 2009). ""Leandra's Law" Passes in the Senate, Strengthening Penalties on Drunk Drivers Carrying Child Passengers". New York State Senate. Retrieved 1 January 2014.
- "Cracking Down on Drunken Driving". The New York Times Company. 22 November 2009. Retrieved 1 January 2014.
- Robinson, Cheryl (19 November 2009). "New York toughens drunken driving law". Cable News Network. Retrieved 1 January 2014.