The New York Daily News recently reported the story about a former U.S. equestrian team member and mother of two children who allegedly drove her vehicle drunk with one of her children in the car. In an attempt to stop her boss from driving away drunk, Rebycka M. Williams – the children’s 20 year-old nanny – allegedly confronted the mother of two, Laura Bowery-Falco (44, of Noyack, New York). The confrontation then turned physical. According to police, Ms. Bowery-Falco pulled the nanny to the ground by her hair and attempted to hit her face.

After the struggle, Ms. Bowery-Falco allegedly sped away in her vehicle to her mother’s house with one of her kids in the car. The nanny did not incur serious injuries. The 14-month old in the vehicle was apparently unharmed. Police arrested Ms. Bowery-Falco several houses down the road from the incident.

Ms. Bowery-Falco appeared in Southampton Town Justice Court. She was charged with aggravated driving while intoxicated (DWI), endangering the welfare of a child and harassment. The equestrian stable owner – Ms. Bowery-Falco – is not allowed to have contact with her children due to the incident and arrest.

Leandra’s Law

Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a crime in the state of New York. In general, if a person (over the age of 21) has a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher, that person is deemed drunk and will most likely be charged with a DWI. Should the BAC reading indicate that an individual’s alcohol content is 0.18 percent or higher – then the charges are ramped up to aggravated DWI. Aggravated DWIs entail harsher penalties.

Several years ago, an 11 year-old girl, named Leandra Rosado, was in a vehicle whose driver was drunk and got into an accident. Tragically, Leandra was killed in that accident. In an effort to avoid such future tragedies and to keep children safer, the lawmakers in New York State drafted Leandra’s Law. The law’s name honors Leandra Rosado. It also makes DWI laws and penalties tougher in the state.

There are two primary parts to Leandra’s Law:

1. Harsher punishment for DWI with children (aged 15 and younger) in car
2. Ignition interlock requirement for those convicted of Leandra’s Law

Some important consequences and components for those convicted of the law include the following:

· First time DWI offenders that have a child 15 or younger in the vehicle at the time of offense – may be charged with a Class E felony that carries up to four (4) years in prison.
· Automatic license revocation.
· Interlock ignition requirement for at least six (6) months.
· If a child 15 years of age or younger dies as the result of the DWI – the individual may be charged with a Class B felony and serve up to 25 years in prison
· If a child 15 years of age or younger entails serious injuries as a result of the DWI – the individual may be charged with a Class C felony and serve up to 15 years in prison.
· If a parent or legal guardian of a child is charged with DWI and the child is in the vehicle at the time of the alleged offense, the parent-figure must be reported to state authorities for alleged child abuse.

DWI in Syracuse

We fully support the notion of safety on the roads and keeping children safe is everyone’s priority. DWI charges can be complex and are not always a ‘black-and-white’ situation. If you received a DWI in Syracuse – or anywhere in the State of New York – our legal team can provide sound advice and proven results to assist you with your legal issue. We solely focus on DWI defense.

DISCLAIMER: The exclusive purpose of this article is educational and it is not intended as either legal advice or a general solution to any specific legal problem.  Corporate offices for The DWI GUYS are located at 432 N. Franklin Street, Suite 80, Syracuse, NY 13204; Telephone No.: 1-877-704-9991.  Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.