An 18-year-old Hampton Bays man and a 59-year-old West Islip man were the first two people arrested for drunken driving with their kids in their cars under the newly enacted Leandra’s Law on Saturday, New York State police said.
A Trooper pulled over Barton Jenks who committed several traffic violations while he was driving his GMC Envoy eastbound on the Southern State Parkway and was then found to be drunk at 3:25 p.m., police said. He was driving with his 10-year-old daughter in the passenger seat.
Jenks was later found to have a blood alcohol content of .11 percent, police said. He was charged with felony driving while intoxicated under Leandra’s Law because he had a child in the car. He was also charged with endangering the welfare of a child and several traffic infractions. The girl’s mother took custody of her from police.
An hour and a half later, Troopers responded to report of a westbound vehicle that veered off of Sunrise Highway and onto the center median at about 5 p.m. and upon arrival they found Mario Rojano drunk with his 3-year-old son in the car, police said. He was later found to have a blood alcohol content of .2 percent.
Rojano was also charged with felony driving while intoxicated under Leandra’s Law. He was additionally charged with endangering the welfare of a child and several traffic infractions.
Rojano was arraigned at Town of Southampton Justice Court where Judge Debra Kooperstein set his bail at $7,500. He is being held at Suffolk County jail. Suffolk County Child Protective Services was notified.
Jenks will be arrainged at First District Court in Hempstead on Monday.
“These two arrests will not be the last until we all have the courage to take away the car keys, call a cab, and treat drunk driving like the violent crime it is,” Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice said in a statement. “In just a few short weeks, we have seen the impact Leandra’s Law can have, and it will continue to target those who endanger our children until the message gets through to everyone. Our state won’t sit idly by while our kids are held hostage in these cars.”
The law, which went into effect on Dec. 18, makes it a felony to drive drunk with a person younger than 16 years old in the vehicle.