Drinking and driving is a hazardous combination. As a result, penalties for drinking and driving are strict. The bottom line is: No one should consume alcohol and drive, because everyone's safe driving ability deteriorates after drinking - even minimally. Teen drivers, especially, lose their driving skills more quickly.
Consider these facts as published in You and the Drinking Driving Laws by the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles:
- One third of the fatalities in New York State involve impaired or intoxicated drivers and pedestrians
- With increased Blood Alcohol Content (BAC), crash risk increases sharply. A driver with a BAC of 0.08 is four times as likely to cause a crash as a driver who has not been drinking, while a driver with a BAC of 0.16 is 25 times as likely to do so.
- Young drinking drivers are at the highest risk of all. Drivers 20 years old or younger are almost three times as likely to be involved in alcohol-related fatal crashes than other drivers.
New York is 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.
The Child Passenger Protection Act, known as Leandra’s Law, is named in memory of 11-year-old Leandra Rosado, who was killed when an SUV she and seven other children were riding in crashed on the Henry Hudson Parkway in Manhattan in October 2009. Leandra was the only person to die in the crash. The driver of the SUV was driving while intoxicated.
Under the law, courts must order all drivers convicted of misdemeanor and felony drunk driving charges – even first-time offenders and regardless of whether a child under 16 was in the vehicle at the time – to install and maintain ignition interlock devices on any vehicles they own or operate for at least six months at their own expense, in addition to any other terms of sentence.