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Bill Seeking To Close Loophole In Leandra’s Law Progresses In State Legislature

Demonstration of Ignition Interlock Device - File / Photo: TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP/Getty Images

Demonstration of Ignition Interlock Device (file/credit: TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP/Getty Images

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – New York is one step closer to strengthening Leandra’s Law.

Under the statute, those convicted of DWI are required to use an ignition interlock device on their car for at least six months.

The law requires convicted drunk drivers to blow into a device that measures the driver’s blood alcohol level before the car can be started.

But New York State Sen. Charles Fuschillo (R-Merrick) said some offenders have been finding ways around the law, by transferring ownership of their cars to other people and then driving without an interlock device.

“We want New York State to have the toughest anti-drunk driving laws in the nation. And that’s our goal – to rid our streets of drunk drivers who have the opportunity to kill or injure somebody,” Fuschillo told WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall.

Fuschillo has proposed legislation to close this loophole.

“There’s an unintended loophole and defense attorneys are telling people that are convicted of drunk driving to just transfer the registration to somebody else,” Fuschillo told Hall. “We’re going to ensure that if they do that to escape the ignition interlock that they’re going to have to wear an ankle bracelet.”

The measure has passed the state senate and now heads to the Assembly. If approved, the measure would require the interlock device on all cars an offender drives whether they own the vehicle or not. Offenders of the statute would be required to wear an alcohol-detecting ankle bracelet.

Leandra’s Law is named for Leandra Rosado, 11, who was killed in a drunk driving crash on the Henry Hudson Parkway in October 2009. The law made it a felony to drive drunk with a child younger than 15 in the car.

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