Monday, December 14, 2009

New DWI Laws Take Effect Friday

From Gannett News:
Tougher laws on drunk drivers who have a child in the car are set to take effect Friday.

The new law, known as Leandra's Law, makes it a felony to drive with a blood-alcohol level greater than .08 and a passenger in the car under the age of 16. A first offense will carry a potential prison sentence of up to four years; up to 15 years if a child passenger is seriously injured; and up to 25 years if a child is killed....

The law also requires drivers charged with drunk driving with a child in the car to surrender their licenses pending prosecution. And if convicted, an ignition-interlock system must be installed in the car for at least six months. The system requires a clean Breathalyzer test to start the car. On Aug. 15, the law will expand to require the system for any driver convicted of misdemeanor or felony DWI.