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Former Traffic Court Judge Serving New York and New Jersey

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New York governor toughens law against drunk driving with kids

Like most New York vehicle and traffic laws, the state's drunken driving laws and their consequences are established and enforced in order to ensure order and safety on the roads. Due to the serious ramifications of drinking and driving, New York's drunken driving laws are among the toughest in the United States. Motorists who are caught driving under the influence of alcohol face stiff penalties, including a license suspension and possibly even jail time.

In 2009, a law called Leandra's Law was signed into effect after a push for stiffer laws regarding driving drunk with children in the vehicle following a car accident that killed the young girl for whom the law is named. The driver of the vehicle the 11-year-old girl, as well as six other girls who were injured, was in reportedly caused the accident while under the influence of alcohol.

State lawmakers plan to strengthen the law with an amendment that will soon go into effect. Under the original law, if a driver is convicted of DUI or DWI with underage children in the car, they have to have an ignition interlock installed in their car. The device is similar to a breath test and will not allow the vehicle to be turned on if a driver has been drinking. The new bill will make more severe the consequences if a driver claims to no longer have a car in order to avoid having the ignition interlock installed.

Any vehicle or traffic offense can have lasting effects, particularly drunk driving charges. Whether you’ve received a ticket, or have been charged with a criminal traffic offense, it may be beneficial to consult with an experienced attorney. A lawyer will be able to explain your options, as well as answer any questions and address any that you may have.

Source: New York Daily News, “Gov. Cuomo to close loopholes in drunken-driving Leandra’s Law,” Glenn Blain and Kenneth Lovett, July 25, 2013

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