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Albany, New York – Leandra’s Law Passed, Drunk Driving with a Child is Now a Felony

By Steven Smith, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network
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In October 2009, it is alleged that Carmen Huertas drank heavily and then put seven children in a car to take them to a slumber party. A subsequent crash caused the death of 11 year old Leandra Rosado. Leandra’s death inspired a new law to protect children from drunk drivers, and New York’s Governor Paterson has signed it into law. The new law, called Leandra’s Law, makes it a felony to drive drunk when there is a child fifteen years of age or younger in the car. It also requires convicted drunk drivers to have ignition locks on their cars.

The bill is considered one of the toughest drunk driving laws in the nation, and it was approved unanimously by the Assembly and the Senate, and signed into law hours later. All together the bill took less than a month to become law. Leandra’s father, Lenny Rosado, said the law will help him move on from the death of his child, knowing that her tragic death may help save other children. Rosado himself lobbied the legislature to pass the bill. Now, he says the next step in healing is to attend the trial of Ms. Huertas. He then plans to try to get Leandra’s Law passed nationally. Read more of the details of Lenny Rosado’s battle to protect other children from drunk drivers at Leandra’s Law official: Driving drunk with child in car felony after death of Leandra Rosado, 11.