BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Several western New Yorkers have already been charged withLeandra's Law, which imposes harsh penalties for driving drunk witha 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 gonnahave to have a device placed on their car to prevent them fromoperating it and actually starting the car if they have any alcoholon their breath."
Advocates like Sullivan and the President of Mothers AgainstDrunk Drivers have spent years pushing for the new law.
President of MADD, Elizabeth Obadd said, "This would be anembarrassment and humiliating for most people, but it's abouttime."
This device is the second provision of Leandra's Law. The firstprovision now makes it a felony to drive drunk with children.
"We call them crashes because they're not accidents, they'retotally preventable," said Obadd.
The entire cost to lease, install, and maintain the ignitioninterlock ranges between $600 and $800. The video shows ademonstration on how it works.
The video explains, "To get your car started you have to blow inthis. 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 arefollowing the rules and that the wrong person is not the one takingthe test.
"All of this is being recorded by the device in the vehicle, andeach month they come in and that information is downloaded to themonitor," stated Sullivan.
DWI offenders have their license suspended or revoked, sothey're not even supposed to be driving during that time. Butexperts say most offenders drive anyway, which is why they supportthe new law.
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