An Analysis of Leandra’s Law: Are Mandatory Alcohol Ignition Interlocks an Effective Way to Curtail Drunken Driving?

By Stephanie Goutos, Albany Government Law Review

I. Introduction

On October 11, 2009, an intoxicated Carmen Huertas got into her vehicle and began to drive seven young children to a slumber party.[1]  Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau would later report that Ms. Huertas had “brushed off warnings that she was too drunk to drive,” [2] and authorities stated she was playing a guessing game with the passengers, asking them to raise their hands if they thought they would make it home without crashing.[3]  Ms. Huertas subsequently lost control of the vehicle, which swerved off the road and flipped over on the Henry Hudson Parkway.[4]  Huertas’s blood alcohol limit was tested at the scene of the accident and reported to be above 0.13 percent, surpassing the legal limit of 0.08.[5]  One of the passengers in the car was eleven year old Leandra Rosado, who was thrown from the vehicle as a result of the accident, and did not survive.[6] Continue reading “An Analysis of Leandra’s Law: Are Mandatory Alcohol Ignition Interlocks an Effective Way to Curtail Drunken Driving?”

Nassau County Publishes Photos of Accused Drunk Drivers: An Ethical Quandary

Steven Sharp, Staff Writer, SSharp@albanylaw.edu 

      Nassau County Executive Thomas Suozzi initiated a controversial anti-drunken driving campaign in late May. (1)  The Nassau police asked news organizations to publish the names and photos of people charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI) over Memorial Day weekend. (2)  Some news organizations followed suit, and Suozzi deemed the display “The Wall of Shame.” (3)

     Nassau County continues to release the personal information of people charged with drunk driving as an “ongoing initiative.” (4)  To date, Nassau County police have arrested 900 drivers since Memorial Day weekend; the county published photos of these drivers. (5) The sole exception precludes photos of drivers, who are under the age of nineteen, from being published in the media. (6)

     To be sure, Nassau County is flush with drunk drivers and the legal ramifications have not been successful in preventing the proscribed conduct. Last year, 4,013 drivers were arrested in Nassau County for drunken-driving related offenses, including twenty-two fatal alcohol related accidents. (7)  Estimates state that one in ten drivers in Nassau County may be impaired. (8)  Thus, Suozzi is hoping that the Wall of Shame “send[s] a message” that “if you’ve been drinking, and you decide to get behind the wheel of a car . . . we’re going to make sure that their friends, neighbors and families know about it.” (9) Continue reading “Nassau County Publishes Photos of Accused Drunk Drivers: An Ethical Quandary”