Contact:  Janine Kava, Press Office                                                   
New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services            
(518) 457-8906 or (518) 275-5508 – cell
janine.kava@dcjs.ny.gov                                                

For immediate release: Tuesday, July 20, 2010

 

Child Passenger Protection Act/Ignition Interlock Provision Fact Sheet

  • New York is one of 36 states in the nation with special child endangerment laws that impose tougher sanctions on individuals who place a child passenger at risk while driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • The Child Passenger Protection Act, known as Leandra’s Law, has been on the books since Dec. 18, 2009. Governor Paterson’s press release.
    • The law is named in memory of 11-year-old Leandra Rosado, who was killed when an SUV she and seven other children were riding in crashed on the Henry Hudson Parkway in Manhattan in October 2009. Leandra was the only person to die in the crash; her father championed the law. The driver of the SUV – the mother of a friend of Leandra’s – is facing a manslaughter charge.
  • The final Leandra’s Law provision takes effect Sunday, Aug. 15. Under the provision:
    • Courts must order all drivers convicted of misdemeanor and felony drunk driving charges – even first-time offenders and regardless of whether a child under 16 was in the vehicle at the time – to install and maintain ignition interlock devices on any vehicles they own or operate for at least six months at their own expense, in addition to any other terms of sentence.
      • New York will become one of 10 mandatory, first offender ignition interlock states when this provision takes effect.
      • An interlock device costs between $75 and $100 to install, coupled with a monthly fee ranging from $70 to $100.
      • Driving a vehicle without an interlock device after one has been ordered is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail.
      • And assisting someone in circumventing an interlock device – for example, blowing into the device while sober so the vehicle will start, allowing an intoxicated individual to drive – also is a Class A misdemeanor.
  • The New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) is sponsoring four trainings across the state to educate law enforcement about the new law and its ignition interlock provision.
    • The first training is being held today at the Rockland County Police and Public Safety Academy in Pomona; more than 100 individuals from 23 agencies throughout eastern New York and Long Island are registered to take the four-hour training course.
      • The following agencies are represented: police departments in Amityville, Blooming Grove, Chester, Colonie, Goshen, Hyde Park, Irvington, Kingston, Malverne, Ossining, Poughkeepsie, Ramapo, Rye, Stony Point and Washingtonville; probation departments in Orange, Rockland and Westchester counties; sheriff’s offices in Dutchess, Rockland and Sullivan counties; the New York State Police; and the New York State Parks Police.
    • The other trainings are scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 5 in Monroe County; Thursday, Aug. 12 in Nassau County; and Tuesday, Aug. 17 in Niagara County.
  • The following provisions of Leandra’s Law have been in effect since December:
    • First-time offenders driving while intoxicated (.08 blood alcohol content or more) or impaired by drugs while a child younger than 16 years old is in the vehicle may be charged with a Class E felony punishable by up to four years in state prison.
    • Courts must order those convicted of DWI with a child in the vehicle to install and maintain an ignition interlock on any vehicle owned or operated by the driver for at least six months, in addition to any terms of sentence.
    • Individuals charged with driving with a blood alcohol level of .08 or greater and with a child under the age of 16 in the vehicle automatically have their license suspended pending prosecution.
    • Drivers who drive while intoxicated or impaired by drugs and cause the death of a child younger than 16 in the car may be charged with a Class B felony, punishable by up to 25 years in state prison.
    • Drivers who drive while intoxicated or impaired by drugs and cause serious physical injury to a child in the vehicle may be charged with a Class C felony, punishable by up to 15 years in state prison.
    • Parents, guardians, custodians and others who are legally responsible for a child, and are charged with a driving while intoxicated or impaired by drugs while that child is a passenger in the vehicle, are reported to the Statewide Central Register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment by the arresting agency.

Child Passenger Protection Act arrests in New York State

  • There have been 311 arrests under Leandra’s Law reported to the state Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) from the effective date of the law through July 10, 2010.
    • Arrests have been reported in 51 of the state’s 62 counties (see below for a county-by-county and gender breakdown of reported arrests).

2009 Misdemeanor and Felony DWI Sentences in New York State

  • In 2009, 23,150 individuals were sentenced for felony and misdemeanor driving while intoxicated convictions in New York State. Of those:
    • Most offenders (a total of 13,140) either paid a fine, paid a fine and had their license suspended, or paid a fine with a conditional discharge.
    • 5,072 offenders received a probation sentence, and another 2,095 received a combination of jail and probation.
    • 2,128 offenders went to jail, and 514 went to prison.

     

    Child Passenger Protection Act (Leandra's Law)
    Arrests
    by Gender*

    County

    Female

    Male

    Total

    Albany

    9

    5

    14

    Allegany

    0

    0

    0

    Bronx

    0

    2

    2

    Broome

    4

    1

    5

    Cattaraugus

    0

    3

    3

    Cayuga

    0

    0

    0

    Chautauqua

    1

    0

    1

    Chemung

    0

    2

    2

    Chenango

    0

    0

    0

    Clinton

    3

    2

    5

    Columbia

    5

    3

    8

    Cortland

    0

    1

    1

    Delaware

    3

    0

    3

    Dutchess

    5

    7

    12

    Erie

    10

    18

    28

    Essex

    0

    0

    0

    Franklin

    1

    2

    3

    Fulton

    0

    0

    0

    Genesee

    2

    0

    2

    Greene

    0

    1

    1

    Hamilton

    0

    0

    0

    Herkimer

    0

    0

    0

    Jefferson

    1

    3

    4

    Kings

    0

    6

    6

    Lewis

    0

    0

    0

    Livingston

    0

    2

    2

    Madison

    0

    4

    4

    Monroe

    9

    9

    18

    Montgomery

    0

    1

    1

    Nassau

    4

    15

    19

    New York

    0

    1

    1

    Niagara

    1

    5

    6

    Oneida

    2

    3

    5

    Onondaga

    6

    5

    11

    Ontario

    1

    2

    3

    Orange

    5

    8

    13

    Orleans

    1

    6

    7

    Oswego

    2

    2

    4

    Otsego

    1

    0

    1

    Putnam

    1

    1

    2

    Queens

    0

    2

    2

    Rensselaer

    1

    3

    4

    Richmond

    0

    0

    0

    Rockland

    0

    5

    5

    St Lawrence

    1

    3

    4

    Saratoga

    1

    4

    5

    Schenectady

    0

    3

    3

    Schoharie

    0

    0

    0

    Schuyler

    0

    1

    1

    Seneca

    1

    1

    2

    Steuben

    1

    0

    1

    Suffolk

    16

    20

    36

    Sullivan

    2

    3

    5

    Tioga

    0

    1

    1

    Tompkins

    0

    0

    0

    Ulster

    4

    2

    6

    Warren

    2

    1

    3

    Washington

    0

    2

    2

    Wayne

    2

    3

    5

    Westchester

    6

    19

    25

    Wyoming

    3

    0

    3

    Yates

    0

    1

    1

    Total

    117

    194

    311

    * Reported to DCJS from Dec. 18, 2009 through July 10, 2010.