Although the facts show that men make up the vast majority of drunk driving cases, two recent and tragic driving incidents involving women drivers have resulted in the deaths of children, provoking New York State and Governor Paterson to enact a new and ever-tougher DUI law, known as Leandra’s Law.
According to recent news reports by CBS News, CNN and other major media sources, Leandra’s Law is named after an 11-year-old New York City girl killed in a crash last month after a friend’s mother allegedly drove drunk.
Under the new law, first-time offenders with a blood alcohol content of .08 or more or under the influence of drugs, and with a child age 15 or under in the vehicle, will automatically have their drivers license suspended, will have to install an ignition interlock device in their car and may be charged with a felony punishable up to four years in prison.
Results of a study conducted by the federal Department of Transportation last summer–just around the time of the Diana Schuler accident on the Taconic, killing eight people (four of whom were children)–revealed that the number of women arrested for DUI is up 29 percent over the last 10 years. And to further the tragedy, women apparently who drive drunk, causing fatal crashes, are are three times as likely to have a child under the age of 14 in the vehicle.