On October 11, 2009, an 11-year-old girl named Leandra Rosado was riding with her friend’s mother. Driving under the influence of alcohol, the mother lost control of the vehicle and flipped it over on the Henry Hudson Parkway. Leandra was killed and six other children in the car were injured.

The very next month, the New York State legislature passed “Leandra’s Law” to further discourage drunk driving and the catastrophic collateral consequences to innocent passengers.

According to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in New York State, the law requires that anyone convicted of driving while intoxicated (DWI) must have an ignition interlock device installed in his or her vehicle. (If you own more than one vehicle, you will need to have a separate device installed in each one.)

Your driver’s license will also have a restriction on it, stating that you are only allowed to drive a vehicle equipped with an ignition interlock device.

Leandra’s Law also means that if a child 15 years old or younger is in the car when you are charged with DWI, the offense will be considered a Class E felony. This type of felony, just like any other felony, can cause very serious damage to your career prospects, relationships and reputation — not to mention resulting in prison time and fines.

Whether or not you are affected by Leandra’s Law will depend on the specifics of your case. Learn more about the penalties you face and your possible defenses by contacting an experienced DWI defense lawyer in New York.