Families scarred by drunken drivers want interlock law fixed

Relatives who lost loved ones to drunken drivers are calling on lawmakers to make the interlock law tougher.

Relatives who lost loved ones to drunken drivers are calling on lawmakers to make the interlock law tougher. (12/30/12)

MINEOLA - A group of Long Islanders who have lost loved ones to crashes with drunken drivers convened a press conference today to call for a fix to a legal loophole, so that DWI offenders can't escape their sentences.

The grief-torn group is calling on state lawmakers to address a provision in Leandra's Law, named for 11-year-old Leandra Rosado, whose life was cut short by a drunken driver. The provision requires all convicted DWI offenders to install ignition interlock devices, which are like portable breath tests that prevent a vehicle from operating if alcohol is detected.

However, new statistics show that some 70 percent of DWI offenders don't install the device on their cars.

Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice says convicted DWI offenders simply lie to the court about owning a vehicle, or transfer their vehicle registration to a friend or family member, so they can continue driving without the interlock device.

To close the loophole, some lawmakers have proposed making offenders wear an ankle bracelet that monitors a person's blood alcohol level for at least six months.

Among those at the conference today was Lynn Scarpati, whose son, Matt, was set to graduate from college this year. He never got the chance to graduate from the University of Buffalo because he was killed by a drunken driver in 2009. Lynn Scarpati says she'd like to see zero-tolerance laws for drunken drivers enacted in the state.

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Top 5 Must See

Sessions was met with at least 100 protesters 1 Sessions warns MS-13: We are coming for you
While Attorney General Jeff Sessions was inside the 2 Protesters gather as Sessions speaks on LI gang violence
The Head of the Hunting Hill Civic Association 3 Woodbury residents concerned over new cell phone tower placement
Officials say the algae cause a host of 4 Harmful algae found in Willow Pond in Village of Huntington
The county's Republican Executive Committee met to decide 5 Nassau GOP endorses Martins for exec

advertisement | advertise on News 12

More News

An ignition interlock device, which requires convicted drunken New push to close loophole in interlock law

The NTSB is considering a recommendation to make all states get on board with the

An ignition interlock device, which requires convicted drunken DA: 25 convicted DWI drivers busted for not having interlock

Nassau County prosecutors say more than two dozen convicted drunken drivers have been arrested for

Sorry to interrupt...

Your first 5 are free

Access to News12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service Electric℠ video customers.

Please enjoy 5 complimentary views to articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.

LOGIN SUBSCRIBE