A New York grandmother found herself facing numerous DWI charges this weekend after allegedly drinking and driving on Long Island with her seven-year-old granddaughter in the vehicle. Myfoxny.com reports that Wanda Carter, a 42-year-old grandmother, was observed by police around 3:30am, speeding and erratically changing lanes on the Sunrise Highway in Patchogue. Law enforcement officers pulled Ms. Carter over, and appeared to have routinely questioned her. At that point, Ms. Carter began to dig herself an even deeper hole with the police.
When asked for her identity, Ms. Carter allegedly gave police a name that was not hers, but, as police would later find out, was that of her daughter. She also did not give police her driver’s license when they requested it from her. Police would later find out that the reason she avoided handing over her license was likely due to the fact that Ms. Carter currently has 28 suspensions on that license, and two outstanding warrants.
Police noticed a young girl inside Ms. Carter’s vehicle, which they later determined to be her seven-year-old granddaughter. According to New York CBS Local, Ms. Carter is homeless, but was supposed to be babysitting the young girl at the time of the incident. Ms. Carter was arrested and charged a litany of criminal charges, including aggravated driving while intoxicated with a child under 15 years old, criminal impersonation, aggravated unlicensed operation, and endangering the welfare of a child. Luckily, Ms. Carter’s granddaughter was not injured in the accident.
The charges against Ms. Carter are serious, especially the DWI charge including the factor of driving with a child in the vehicle. This is a felony charge under New York’s Leandra’s Law, which was drafted in order to avoid the dangerous behavior of driving drunk with children. Leandra’s Law has been effective in New York since 2009, and is named after a child victim of drunk driving, Leandra Rosado, who died at age 11 at the hands of a drunk driver. Under Leandra’s Law, driving with a child while intoxicated is a Class “E” felony, which is punishable by up to four years in prison. Drivers convicted of violating Leandra’s Law are also ordered to install ignition interlock devices on any vehicle that they own or operate. There are other penalties and consequences associated with convictions under Leandra’s law.
Drinking and driving is a dangerous activity in and of itself, but drinking and driving with a child in the car is even more hazardous, and the New York State Legislature acknowledges this. Violations under New York’s DWI law involving children are serious in nature, and can lead to jail time, heavy fines and penalties and other tough consequences. If you have been charged with violating DWI laws, you should immediately seek out an experienced attorney to review your case. An experienced attorney can help defend you against DWI charges and can represent you in court. Call the experienced DWI attorneys at Nave DWI Defense Attorneys today at 1-866-792-7800 for a confidential consultation.
The exclusive purpose of this article is educational and it is not intended as either legal advice or a general solution to any specific legal problem. Corporate offices for Nave DWI Defense Attorneys are located at 432 N. Franklin Street, Suite 80, Syracuse, NY 13204; Telephone No.: 1-866-792-7800. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Attorney Advertising.