LEANDRA’S LAW AS A NATIONAL MODEL CHILD ENDANGERMENT
Of the 10,839 people killed in drunk driving crashes in 2009, 181 were children under the age of 15. More than half of them were passengers of drunk drivers. As a nation, we should all find this unacceptable. In 2009, 11-year-old Leandra Rosado was tragically killed when an SUV carrying her and seven other children crashed on the Henry Hudson Parkway in Manhattan. The adult driver, who had a BAC of .132, was the mother of one of the other passengers. Leandra’s father, Lenny Rosado, channeled his grief over the death of his only daughter into tireless advocacy for Leandra’s Law. The New York law requires all convicted drunk drivers to use ignition interlock devices, and makes driving drunk with a child passenger under the age of 16 in the car a felony punishable by up to four years in prison.
From December 18, 2009, when Leandra’s Law went into effect, through July 2011, 1,409 people were arrested in New York State for driving drunk with a child in the car. This equates to more than four people per day arrested specifically for that offense. Clearly, child endangerment has reached a crisis level in our nation. States must act now to pass tougher laws and send a mes- sage that it is not okay to drive drunk, worse still with a child in the car. Therefore, MADD calls on all states to make DUI child endangerment a felony and include additional ignition interlock time for adults who commit this crime.
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