New DWI Law Requires Breathalyzer Before Driving

By Glenn Zimmerman
|  Sunday, Aug 15, 2010  |  Updated 2:30 PM EDT
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New DWI Law Requires Breathalyzer Before Driving

Leandra Rosado

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New York has joined a growing number of states toughening penalties for drunk drivers.

The second part of a new state law took effect this weekend, requiring anyone with a DWI conviction to get a device installed in their car that requires them to pass a breathalyzer test to start the engine.  If they don't pass, the car doesn't start.

The new legislation is part of "Leandra's Law," so-named for 11-year-old Leandra Rosado, who was killed when the car she was in flipped over.  Carmen Huertas, the driver of that car, has pleaded guilty to driving drunk and manslaughter.

Leandra's father, Lenny Rosado, who helped spearhead Leandra's law -- which also makes drunken driving a felony if a child is in the vehicle --told NBCNewYork that keeping intoxicated drivers from behind the wheel has become the focus of his life.

"This is my purpose in life now. You know. I found my purpose even though this is not the way I wanted to find my purpose but this is my purpose and my mission.”

The October crash occurred as Huertas drove to a slumber party. It killed 11-year-old Leandra and injured the other six children, including Huertas' daughter.

"I want to make this nationwide.  Not just getting the ignition locks statewide but to make it a felony,"Rosado said.

Huertas' sentencing is set for Oct. 1. A judge has promised her more than the minimum range of one to three years in prison but less than the maximum range of five to 15 years.
 

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