George F. Hildebrandt
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Leandra’s Law, NSC and MADD drunk driving views, and the IID

Some experts, including those at the National Safety Council and Mothers Against Drunk Driving, believe not enough is happening to stop drunk driving.

The state of New York has passed stringent legislation, such as Leandra’s Law, to keep drunk drivers off the road. Among the penalties for DWI is installation of an ignition interlock device.

Several contributing factors

While it is true that a good economy leads to more cars on the road and therefore more opportunity for accidents, the increase in motorists is not the only reason for the increase in traffic fatalities. Other causes include speeding, distracted driving and the use of alcohol. Overall, fatalities related to drunk driving have decreased from 50% of all traffic deaths a few decades ago to about 30% in the past few years.

However, both the NSC and MADD say the country can do more to prevent drunk driving. One recommended goal is for all drivers who receive DWI/DUI convictions, including first offenders, to install ignition interlock devices in any of the vehicles they drive.

The law in New York

Some states only require the installation of an ignition interlock device for repeat offenders or those who have a high blood alcohol content level. New York takes a more serious view with Leandra’s Law, which became effective in 2009. Named for an 11-year-old girl who became a fatality when riding with an intoxicated driver, the law makes the installation of an IID a requirement for any drunk driving conviction, including first offenses. The device must remain in any vehicle the person owns or drives for 12 months unless the court approves a different arrangement.

Choosing wisely

If police arrest you on suspicion of drunk driving in the state of New York, explore your legal options in order to acquire the best defense possible for your case. If, like many people, driving is a necessity for you, remember Leandra’s Law and the focus on IID installation as a means to prevent a repeat drunk driving offense.  

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