A Brooklyn father who was allegedly speeding on the Grand Central Parkway while intoxicated on New Year’s Day has become the first person charged in Queens under the state’s tougher drunk driving laws, the Queens district attorney said.
Johnny Ovalles, 38, of Cypress Hills, was arraigned on several charges Saturday including Leandra’s Law, a new DUI law passed in November that makes it a felony to drive drunk if there are children in the car, according to DA Richard Brown.
Around 6:25 a.m., Ovalles was traveling 80 miles per hour with his wife and two daughters, ages 12 and 16, on the Grand Central and had nearly double the legal limit of alcohol in his body, the DA said.
“I intend to vigorously enforce this new statute, named for Leandra Rosado, an 11-year-old child who died after the vehicle in which she was a passenger — being driven by an allegedly drunk driver — crashed,” Brown said in a statement.
Ovalles, who was ordered held on $5,000 cash bail, was observed by an officer as allegedly having bloodshot eyes, slurred speech and a strong odor of alcohol, according to the DA. An intoxilyzer test administered by the officer revealed that the driver had a blood alcohol content of .156 — well above the .08 legal limit, Brown said.
If convicted, he faces up to four years in prison, according to Brown.
Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at ipereira@c
©2010 Community News Group
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