NEW YORK (1010 WINS/WCBS 880) – The second phase of “Leandra’s Law” is going into effect this Sunday.
Earlier this week, Carmen Huertas, 32, pleaded guilty to driving drunk in the crash that killed the 11-year-old Leandra Rosado and injured six other girls left in her care for an ill-fated ride to a slumber party last October.
Rosado’s death led to the passage of “Leandra’s Law” which made it a felony to drive drunk with a child younger than 15 in the car.
Now, anyone sentenced for DWI, including first time offenders, on or after Aug. 15 will have to install and maintain an interlocking ignition device in their car. The device prevents a vehicle from starting if the operator is under the influence of alcohol.
Gov. David Paterson said Thursday that the device decreases vehicular homicides by 35 percent.
“I’m calling this the final knock-out punch,” Lenny Rosado said. “This will definitely put away people that think it’s okay to drink and drive.”
Jennifer Flynn, whose 7-year-old daughter, Katie, was killed by a drunken driver on Long Island in July 2005, says making the device mandatory for those convicted will emphasize the seriousness of the offense.
“I think that for too long people are less afraid to shoplift than they are to drink and drive that socially we accept it,” Flynn said.