Sections

No Pity for Drunk Drivers

Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like TimesLedger on Facebook.

It should not be necessary, but it is. A law pending in the state Legislature would make it a felony to get behind the wheel drunk if there are children under 16 in the vehicle. Penalties would start at up to four years in prison and escalate from there if a child were injured or killed.

The bill has been named Leandra’s Law after Leandra Rosado, an 11-year-old girl killed last month in a fiery crash on the Henry Hudson Parkway. The driver, Carmen Huertas, was allegedly intoxicated when she got behind the wheel of a car filled with seven children. Two of the others in the car were seriously injured in the accident.

Leandra’s Law has the backing of Mothers Against Drunk Driving and other organizations. An online petition seeks public support for the bill.

At the moment, driving drunk, even with a car full of children, is only a misdemeanor, at least for the first offense. The state should not withhold serious punishment until a child is maimed or killed. Driving drunk with children in the car is an act of incredible recklessness.

Despite the tragic stories that make headlines nearly every day, otherwise responsible people continue to drink and drive. The state is right to do everything possible to put the fear of God into these drivers. They must make the decision that if they are going to drink, they are not going to drive, especially if there will be children in their cars.

We do not support this law lightly. The drunk driver does not usually intend to commit a crime. Often they are decent people with a job and families to support. Tragic drivers like Huertas must deal with a lifetime of guilt that is most likely worse than going to prison.

Hopefully the fear of prison that comes with Leandra’s Law will keep the next Carmen Huertas from getting behind the wheel.

Posted 6:29 pm, October 10, 2011
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like TimesLedger on Facebook.

Reader feedback

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not TimesLedger.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to TimesLedger.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

@timesledgernews
Community News Group

Don’t miss out!

Stay in touch with the stories people are talking about in your neighborhood:

Optional: Help us tailor our newsletters to you!