Eileen E. Joyce, 52, of Voorheesville, was arrested for a DWI on Saturday Dec. 19, by the Guilderland Police Department. Joyce was the first person in Albany County to be arrested under the Child Passenger Protection Act, more commonly known as Leandra's Law.
The Child Passenger Protection Act enhances the sentence for individuals operating a motor vehicle with a BAC of .08 and a child 15 years of age or younger in the vehicle. Under the act the charge is upgraded from a misdemeanor to a felony. The act was passed by the New York State Legislature during the special session in November. The law went into effect on Friday, Dec. 18.
According to police Joyce aroused police suspicion when she was driving eastbound on Route 20 and appeared as if she was going to make a right turn onto Route 146 before deciding to continue straight on Route 20. Captain Cox of the Guilderland Police Department referred to the movement as "a sudden erratic movement." Joyce allegedly committed several other traffic infractions before police decided to pull her over after she turned right on Route 155.
According to police Joyce failed a field sobriety test and was arrested for a common-law DWI. After being transported to police headquarters, Joyce was administered a chemical test in which she allegedly tested at .14 BAC. According to police, Joyce had two other adult passengers and a 7 year old child in the car. The child passenger was the daughter of one of the adults. The results of the chemical test compounded by the age of the child led to Joyce being charged under the new law.
When asked if he felt pride knowing his agency was the first in Albany County to make such an arrest Cox instead evoked a feeling of sadness. "It saddens me to know this will continue even tough we put so much emphasis on it" said Cox
If convicted Joyce could face one to four years in prison, and a fine of $1000 to $5000.