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Q:
What is Leandra 's Law?

A:
Leandra's Law, also known as the Child Passenger Protection Act, is the nickname for New York State's efforts to make tougher DWI laws.  They enacted laws in December, 2009 that include harsh penalties for DWI if there is a young child in the car. 
 
Leandra's Law also imposes a requirement that all DWI convictions in New York require an ignition interlock for at least six months.   They seem to have lost their focus there, however, since the requirement is in place regardless of whether there was a child in the car.     

The New York provision is a bit controversial because the legislature has put in a requirement that local agencies add all kinds of probation requirements and interlock, but they have not provided any state funding.  Also, studies in California and elsewhere have questioned the effectiveness of interlocks for all first offenders.   

Virginia legislature has considered a mandatory interlock law for the past few years but rejected the idea for now.   At present, we have mandatory interlock for all 2nd offense DWI, but that can't even be done until after they wait a full year (for 2nd within 5 years), or 4 months (for 2nd DUI within 10 years).  Also, interlock is required for a DWI with a Breath or Blood test of .15 or higher.   

Virginia has long had a tough law that makes DWI with a child in the car punishible by a mandatory minimum jail sentence of 5 additional days.   This law has been enforced in situations where the driver is not even intoxicated but where a breath test shows a BAC of .08.  We can all agree that nobody should be driving drunk, and especially not with children in the car.  

However, only an experienced Fairfax County DWI DUI Attorney (Lawyer) can defend somebody who is accused of such an offense under circumstances where the evidence of intoxication is marginal or borderline.  In many cases, there was no actual dangerous driving, and arguably no more danger than that which is posed every time we ride in a car. 
Paul Liam McGlone
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DWI and Criminal Defense Attorney and Founder of McGlone Law Firm