This matter is before the Court for sentencing under Leandra’s Law New York’s newest anti-DWI measure wherein the defendant pled guilty to DWI driving while intoxicated pursuant to Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1192 (3).
One month after the DWI death of 11-year-old Leandra Rosado in New York City, the State enacted Leandra’s Law on 18 November 2009 requiring all first-time, misdemeanor DWAI https://dwi.1800nynylaw.com/new-york-dwai-lawyer.htmloffenders install ignition interlock devices in every automobile they own or operate for at least 6 months. It further requires, barring indigency, that offenders pay for installation and maintenance of the interlocks. However, like so many products rushed to market prematurely, Leandra’s Law exhibits numerous defects imperiling its constitutionality.
The court faces the issues to be considered from the State’s failure to establish determinate ignition interlocking costs. The first is whether the indeterminate nature of the cost of installing and maintaining ignition interlocks invalidates the requirement defendants pay for the devices, given the cost is statutorily classified as a fine and therefore constitutes a criminal punishment. That issue informs a related, New York constitutional concern whether the State violated New York constitutional law by failing properly to promulgate a final interlock cost list. Moreover, the court will examine whether the lack of a statutory metric for determining a defendant’s ability to pay for the ignition interlock violates equal protection because it may lead to arbitrary enforcement. Also at issue on equal protection grounds is whether requiring defendants to interlock every auto they own or operate is justifiable.