A woman is facing a long list of criminal charges after Rome Police allegedly found her passed out in her car with two children in the back seat, WKTV News reports.
Early in the morning on February 25, Rome Police Department officers responded to a report of a woman passed out at the wheel of a car near the intersection of West Willet Street and Lyons Avenue. The police stated that they found 28-year-old Brittany Bean passed out in the driver's seat, with her 9-year old son and 3-year-old daughter in the back seat.
Bean was arrested and charged with DUI (drugs), two counts of aggravated DWI (Leandra's Law), third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation, and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child.
New York Driving Laws
Bean's case demonstrates how one incident can easily result in multiple serious charges. The charges she is facing include:
- felony DWI under Leandra's Law: Named after 11-year-old Leandra Rosado, who was killed in a drunk driving accident in Manhattan in 2009. Leandra's Law imposes more severe penalties for impaired driving crimes that occur when a child under 16 is in the vehicle. First-time offenders can face up to four years in prison for DWI with a child in the vehicle, loss of their license, and more. The penalties are significantly higher if the driver's impairment results in injury to or death of a child.
- DWAI (drugs): The penalties for these offenses can be severe. First-time offenders face up to a $1,000 fine, one year in prison, a six-month license suspension, installation of an ignition interlock device and other penalties.
- Unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the third degree: This occurs when a person operates a motor vehicle knowing that his or her license has been suspended or revoked. This is a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $500 (more for operating certain larger vehicles) and up to thirty days in prison. (See New York Vehicle and Traffic Law - VAT § 511.)
- Endangering the welfare of a child: This involves a person “knowingly acts in a manner likely to be injurious to the physical, mental or moral welfare of a child less than seventeen years old or directs or authorizes such child to engage in an occupation involving a substantial risk of danger to his or her life or health.” This is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail or three years probation, as well as a fine of up to $1,000 (see New York Penal Law - PEN § 260.10).
In addition to jail time, fines and the loss of driving privileges, drivers convicted of impaired or intoxicated driving crimes face other long-term consequences, including potentially causing serious problems with their current job and relationships.
Having a criminal record can also make it much more difficult to be hired at a new job, to get a professional license, to receive government assistance or to get a scholarship. That's why it's important to have experienced legal representation if you are facing impaired or intoxicated driving crimes. Contact Frost & Kavanaugh, PC to learn more.