A mother in New York was recently charged with a Leandra’s Law DWI after causing a drunk driving accident with her children present in the vehicle. According to New York 4, Tyleen Smith, 36, was heading west on West Yaphank Road in her SUV when she struck a tree. Thankfully, no other vehicles were involved in the accident, however, she did have three passengers inside of the car with her, all of which were her children.
As a result of the accident, her 11-year-old twins suffered broken bones and her eight-year-old suffered minor injuries. They were all transported to Stony Brook University Hospital where they were treated for their injuries. Because Smith was said to be engaging in aggravated driving while intoxicated and had her children traveling with her as passengers, she was charged under Leandra’s Law.
Child protective services were also notified of the drunk driving accident.
What is Leandra’s Law?
Leandra’s Law, also known as the Child Passenger Protection Act, was enacted in the state of New York after 11-year-old Leandra Rosado was killed while riding in the car with an intoxicated parent of one of her friends. Leandra’s Law states that:
- A first-time offender who is caught driving while intoxicated, which means they had a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) level of .08 or higher or is impaired by drugs with a passenger who is 15-years-old or younger, can be charged with a class E felony punishable by up to 4 years in prison.
- Someone who is charged with driving with a BAC level of .08 or greater with a passenger who is 15-years-old or younger will automatically have their license suspended during the criminal case.
- Drivers who operate a vehicle while intoxicated or impaired by drugs and cause the death of a passenger child who is 15-years-old or younger may be charged with a Class B felony, punishable by up to 25 years in State prison.
- Drivers who operate a motor vehicle while intoxicated or impaired by drugs and cause serious physical injury to a child who is 15 years of age or younger may be charged with a Class C felony, punishable by up to 15 years in State prison.
You can visit the New York State Unified Court System to read more about Leandra’s Law and the consequences a motorist faces when they drive intoxicated with a child present in the vehicle.
A DUI charge carries some serious consequences with it but having minors present in the vehicle at the time of the arrest is far worse which is why you will want to retain a DUI accident lawyer to ensure you are properly represented.
Now, because Smith did violate Leandra’s Law and did cause her children to suffer from injuries, she could very well be faced with jail time, hefty fines and fees, and she may even be at risk of losing parental rights. DUI/DWI accident-related charges are serious charges and can have a long-term effect on you and your family.
If you have been charged with causing a DUI/DWI accident in NY and have yet to retain a drunk driving accident lawyer, now is the time to do so. If you want to stand any chance at getting your charges reduced along with the penalties that they carry, you will want to have a reputable and qualified DUI/DWI accident lawyer in New York City working beside you and helping you fight the charges.
Should you need help with locating a lawyer or are a family member in search of legal aid for a loved one, contact USAttorneys.com and we will be sure to assist you.