DWI with a Child in the Vehicle

February 20, 2022


Car keys next to handcuffs and an alcoholic beverage

Under current New York law, you could face harsher consequences, as well as additional charges and stiffer punishment if convicted of a DWI while a minor was present in your vehicle. Ideally, no one should drink and drive, and if they do, children certainly should not be present. Still, there are those who make poor judgment calls within this scenario, and because of this, anyone convicted of a DWI in Syracuse is subject to Leandra’s Law.

What is Leandra’s Law?

Leandra’s Law is a proactive initiative prompted by the death of 11-year-old Leandra Rosado in 2009. The adult driving a car containing the little girl and her friends crashed the car in NYC and was arrested for DWI. Soon thereafter, another horrific DWI crash involving children occurred. These events were the catalyst that brought Leandra’s father together with MADD and select politicians to create and pass legislation calling for stricter DWI penalties when children are involved. Leandra’s Law escalates a DWI up to a Class E Felony in the state of New York for any driver convicted of a DWI where children were present in the vehicle.


If you are convicted of a DWI in Syracuse and a child was present in your car, you face harsh punishment, depending on the specifics of your case. If the child was uninjured, you could serve up to four years in prison. If the child is injured, you face a seven-year prison sentence. If your DWI resulted in the death of a child, the penalty is fifteen years. This applies to children under the age of sixteen. A conviction will also result in the revocation of your driver’s license for a period of time, as well as mandatory ignition interlocks on any vehicle you are driving, including employer-owned vehicles, for a minimum of six months.

Our experienced DWI lawyers have been practicing New York law for years. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.

DISCLAIMER: The exclusive purpose of this article is educational and it is not intended as either legal advice or a general solution to any specific legal problem.  Corporate offices for The DWI GUYS are located at 231 Walton Street, Syracuse, New York 13202; Telephone No.: 1-877-704-9991.  Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

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