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Out with Daughter at 3 AM, Mom Charged with Felony DWI under Leandra's Law

A Port Chester woman driving with her 7-year-old daughter was stopped by Croton police on Route 9 at 3:27 a.m. Feb. 24.

Laura Cordova, 32, of Port Chester, is due in Croton Village Court Feb. 27 to answer felony charges of driving while intoxicated and unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, as well as a charge of driving without an interlock device.

Croton police Officers John Smith and Evan Murtaugh stopped a vehicle headed south on Route 9 at 3:27 a.m. Feb. 24; after investigation, they arrested Cordova on DWI charges.  

A 7-year-old child—her daughter, police said—was in the car. That made it a case under Leandra's Law, said Sgt. John Nikitopolous. 

According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving:

Leandra's Law is named after 11 year old Leandra Rosado who was killed in October 2009 when the adult driving her  and her friends crashed the car on the Henry Hudson Parkway in NYC. The driver was arrested for DWI. This followed the horrific "Taconic Crash" in which 8 people were killed, 4 of them children. Mr. Rosado, Leandra's father, quickly teamed with MADD, Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr., Assemblman Harvey Weisenberg and the Governor to pass this legislation on child endangerment and ignition interlocks. The resulting "Leandra's Law" elevates the crime of drunk driving with a child in the car to a Class E felony punishable up to 4 years in prison; if the child is injured, 7 years; and if killed, 15 years. It also mandates ignition interlocks for the cars of all convicted DWI offenders for a minimum of 6 months.

Felony DWI and unlicensed operation charges are imposed after previous offenses. 

Cordova was not using a mandated interlock device. Driving a vehicle without an interlock device after one has been ordered is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail.

After arresting Cordova, Croton police contacted the on-call Assistant District Attorney, who recommended bail be set at $1,000, police said. 

Cordova was arraigned before Acting Village Justice Anne Minihan. She was able to post bail. 

An order of protection was put in place to keep Cordova from transporting her daughter, who was picked up by her father. As required by law, Child Protective Services was notified. 

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