WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- Both state and local law enforcement officials in Westchester County are stepping up their DWI patrols during Thanksgiving weekend.
Motorists are reminded that driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 or higher will put them over the state's legal limit. Officials will also be looking for drivers who are impaired by drugs, both illegal and prescription.
Leandra’s Law also sets some of the toughest DWI provisions in the country. First-time offenders driving while intoxicated or impaired by drugs with a child less than 16 years old in the vehicle may be charged with a class E felony, punishable by up to four years in prison. Drivers convicted must install and maintain an ignition interlock on any vehicle owned or operated by the driver for a minimum period of six months.
The law was enacted after 11-year-old Leandra Rosado, was killed in New York City in 2009 when the car she was in flipped over and the it was determined the driver was under the influence of alcohol.
In 2012, according to state Department of Motor Vehcicles, there were 8,633 alcohol-related crashes in New York State reported by police, resulting in 358 people killed and 6,303 injured.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, alcohol-impaired-driving fatalities increased nationwide by 4.6 percent in 2012, accounting for 31 percent of overall fatalities.