Updated: Friday, 02 Jul 2010, 6:51 PM EDT
Published : Thursday, 01 Jul 2010, 10:18 PM EDT
BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Several western New Yorkers have already been charged with Leandra's Law, which imposes harsh penalties for driving drunk with a child on board. The law will soon get even tougher.
The device is an interlock ignition device, and come August, some drivers will be required to install it in their vehicles.
John Sullivan is the Director of Erie County Stop DWI Office, and he explains, "Anyone convicted of a misdemeanor DWI is gonna have to have a device placed on their car to prevent them from operating it and actually starting the car if they have any alcohol on their breath."
Advocates like Sullivan and the President of Mothers Against Drunk Drivers have spent years pushing for the new law.
President of MADD, Elizabeth Obadd said, "This would be an embarrassment and humiliating for most people, but it's about time."
This device is the second provision of Leandra's Law. The first provision now makes it a felony to drive drunk with children.
"We call them crashes because they're not accidents, they're totally preventable," said Obadd.
The entire cost to lease, install, and maintain the ignition interlock ranges between $600 and $800. The video shows a demonstration on how it works.
The video explains, "To get your car started you have to blow in this. You have to wait for a red light a green light to come here, which says blow."
The device lets the driver know if they passed the test. Somebody will be watching on the other end to make sure people are following the rules and that the wrong person is not the one taking the test.
"All of this is being recorded by the device in the vehicle, and each month they come in and that information is downloaded to the monitor," stated Sullivan.
DWI offenders have their license suspended or revoked, so they're not even supposed to be driving during that time. But experts say most offenders drive anyway, which is why they support the new law.