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Leandra’s Law and ignition interlock requirements in New York

Leandra’s Law strengthened the penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) in the state of New York, which include installation of an ignition interlock device (IID).

What is this law, and what can someone charged with DUI expect if the court orders an IID as part of the driver’s sentence?

About Leandra’s Law

Leandra Rosado was an 11-year-old passenger in a car driven by the mother of a friend. The driver was intoxicated, and Leandra died when the vehicle crashed. As a consequence, the New York State Legislature made changes to the Vehicle and Traffic Law, strengthening the penalties for a DUI conviction. As of August 15, 2010, anyone convicted of DUI in New York must install an IID in any vehicle he or she operates. The IID must remain there for at least 12 months.

IID requirements

With the passage of Leandra’s law, even first-time DUI offenders must install IIDs in their vehicles and maintain them at their own expense. These devices are about the size of a mobile phone. The IID attaches to the ignition system. The driver must blow into a mouthpiece and the device measures the blood alcohol content (BAC) in the driver’s body. A BAC of 0.025% or higher constitutes a failed test, but if the person passes the test, the car will start. The driver must maintain the IID through a service provider the state of New York certifies.

A look ahead

Leandra’s Law put teeth in New York DUI laws, but there are reasons to challenge a DUI charge. An attorney will closely examine the circumstances surrounding the driver’s arrest and plan a defense strategy that will provide the best outcome possible for the case.