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Man faces felony DUI under New York's Leandra's Law

A 53-year-old man has been taken into custody and charged with felony DUI after allegedly causing a three-car accident. The charge is a result of Leandra's Law, a piece of New York legislation which makes first-offense DUI an automatic felony when a driver is operating a vehicle with a juvenile 15 years or younger as a passenger.

Police claim that the defendant was traveling east on an Ulster road when he failed to yield the right of way and turned into the path of a sedan driven by an 18-year-old woman. The sedan then struck a van waiting to enter the road. Officials say that when they arrived at the scene, they discovered the male suspect was driving with his 15-year-old daughter.

The driver of the van was unhurt, and the driver and passenger of the sedan were treated for minor injures at the scene of the accident. Once issued a felony DUI charge, the defendant was released into the custody of a relative while pending an appearance in court. Methods the authorities used to test the driver's sobriety were not reported.

A DUI charge on an individual's record can result in consequences such as suspension of a driver's license, community service and penalty fees. A felony DUI charge under Leandra's Law can cause greater problems for a defendant, including hefty fines, elimination of driving privileges and even jail time. These types of situations may require the consultation of an attorney who specializes in DUI law. This type of lawyer may be able to work for a settlement that is agreeable to all parties involved, possibly reducing the amount of penalties or time in jail.

Source: Daily Freeman, "Kingston man faces felony DWI charge after three-car crash in town of Ulster", December 20, 2013

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Glenn R. Bruno, Esq.