Leandra's Law: cause and effect

So far, none of the cases involving Leandra's Law charges have been resolved. Albany County District Attorney David Soares said that the court is currently in the process of accepting motions in the Joyce case.

Unlike Crouch, Soares said that he does not believe the amount of time to elapse will diminish the effectiveness of the new law.

"I don't know if I agree with due process impeding deterrence," said Soares.

He said his office is very conscience of time and tries to resolve cases as quickly as possible.

Soares said that when Joyce was arrested, people focused on the fact that she was a doctor instead of the inherent irresponsibility in drinking and driving, especially with a child in the vehicle.

He said the same amount of attention was not devoted to the subsequent arrests of Brewer or Keller.

Crouch also noted that a disproportionate amount of attention was given to Joyce's case.

"When she was arrested, more people noticed because she's a doctor, a notable figure," said Crouch. "We are going to see what happens to Dr. Joyce vs. what happens to these other two [Brewer and Keller]."

According to Soares, people should really be focusing on the child.

"Children really don't have a choice on whether they get into a vehicle with a parent or an adult," he said. "That's the perspective we hope people will see. We want people talking about these issues, we want people talking at the dinner table."

There are currently seven cases that have been referred to Soares'office for prosecution under Leandra's Law.

Soares said he hopes the law will send a clear and powerful message to deter people from drinking and driving, especially with children in the car.

"I believe it will have a deterrent effect," said Soares.

Crouch said the deterrent effect depends on the outcome of the current cases.

"I think once some adjudications are meted out, that's going to play a major role in what happens," he said.


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