Statement from DA Kathleen Rice on Signing of Legislation to Strengthen Leandra’s Law

Nassau County DA Kathleen Rice reflects on the recent strengthening of Leandra's Law by Governor Cuomo.

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Nassau County, NY - July 26th, 2013 - “New Yorkers were moved to action when 11-year-old Leandra Rosado was tragically killed by a drunk driver in 2009. Lawmakers in Albany soon passed “Leandra’s Law,” legislation that imposed stronger penalties for driving drunk with a child in the vehicle and required that convicted drunk drivers install ignition interlocks in their vehicles. Ignition interlocks require convicted drunk drivers to pass a breath test before they can start their vehicle, yet 70% of offenders did not have them installed.

Today Governor Cuomo signed legislation that closed loopholes that allowed drunk drivers to evade the interlock requirement while taking away the incentive for drunk drivers to wait out the interlock period. In addition, drunk drivers who are given the benefit of a conditional license, and then re-offend, face an automatic felony charge. Ignition interlocks save lives by keeping drunk drivers off of our roads, and I thank State Senator Charles Fuschillo and Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg for working with my office to craft this legislation and then leading the fight for its passage in Albany. Finally, I thank Governor Cuomo for signing this essential legislation and creating safer roads for all of us.”