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What is Lendra's law?

Leandra Rosado was a young girl who passed away in a drunk driving accident. In honor of the 11-year-old's passing, the New York State Legislature created Leandra's law and enacted it on Nov. 18, 2009. The law requires those who have been convicted of driving while intoxicated to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicles.

The ignition interlock device, although it represents a major inconvenience, is actually a better solution than simply revoking the driver's licenses of those convicted of DWI. The ignition interlock device allows motorists to continue driving their cars so they can take their children to school and go to work, and otherwise continue to contribute to society. The device is a small apparatus that a driver must periodically blow into. As long as the driver does not have any alcohol in his or her bloodstream, the driver can continue to operate the vehicle.

Leandra's law also created a Class E Felony, Aggravated DWI/Child in Vehicle, that applies to intoxicated drivers with children in their cars. Unless the court makes an exception, drivers convicted of this Class E felony -- and those convicted of Aggravated DWI/Driving with a Blood Alcohol Content above 0.18 percent -- must use an interlock device for no less than 12 months.

Every driver with an ignition interlock system has a court-appointed monitor. In order to remove the interlock restriction from a driver's license, a DWI-convicted driver must obtain a form from the monitor that says he or she does not need the interlock device anymore. That form is given to the DMV in order to receive a new driver's license without the restriction.

Navigating the terms of DWI conviction may be confusing. As such, New York drivers are encouraged to consult with a DWI lawyer to ensure that they comply perfectly with their convictions. Also, drivers who have yet to be convicted for DWI may be able to defend themselves against their charges to seek a reduction in punishment and/or a verdict of not guilty.

Source: New York Department of Motor Vehicles, "Leandra's Law & ignition interlock devices," accessed Feb. 14, 2017

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