“One year ago today, New York took a huge leap forward in our continuing efforts to make roadways safer by becoming one of 36 states in the nation with special child endangerment laws that impose tougher sanctions on individuals who place a child passenger at risk while driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Since the Child Passenger Protection Act – also known as Leandra’s Law – took effect on December 18, 2009, more than 661 individuals across the State have been arrested on a felony driving while intoxicated charge as a result of having a child under the age of 16 in the vehicle.
“The law’s ignition interlock provision, which took effect August 15, addresses both the punishment and deterrence goals of the Child Passenger Protection Act by requiring anyone convicted of a misdemeanor or felony drunk driving charge – regardless of whether a child was in the vehicle at the time – to install the interlock devices in their vehicles. Ignition interlocks are a burden and an expense to drivers who choose to drive drunk and they are effective. Studies have shown that interlocks can decrease repeat offenses by 64 percent. And, less than 10 percent of drivers ordered to install the devices attempt to circumvent them.
“I commend members of the State’s law enforcement community for their enforcement of this important law because every passenger, and certainly every child, deserves a sober driver. All drivers should expect nothing less than sober drivers ahead of them, behind them, and in the oncoming lane of traffic. As we celebrate the holiday season, I urge all New York's drivers to give their passengers – and their fellow drivers on the road – the gift of a designated driver every time they get behind the wheel.”