Earlier this week out on Long Island, a 37-year-old Merrick woman admitted to police that she took half a bottle of prescription medicine before getting into an accident with another driver.
At the time of the crash, her son, 2, and daughter, 4, were in the back of her 2013 Honda. The children were secured in car seats and were not hurt in the accident.
According to Nassau County police, around 1:40 p.m., on April 11, the woman ran a red light on Babylon Road as she attempted to turn on Merrick Road. She collided with an SUV driven by a woman, 62. The SUV driver complained of back injuries and was taken to a nearby hospital.
According to the criminal complaint against the Honda driver, who was uninjured, she stated to the responding officers that she felt "loopy" after ingesting the pills.
Police arrested her on charges of impaired driving with minors under the age of 17 in her vehicle. Officers arranged for a relative to come to the accident scene and pick up the children.
Since 2009, "Leandra's Law" makes driving while impaired with children under 17 in the vehicle a felony. It was named for an 11-year-old girl who died in a collision when the mother of her friend drove drunk on the Henry Hudson Parkway and caused the fatal wreck.
The woman was arraigned the next day in Hempstead's First District Court, where she pleaded innocent. The judge did not take her driver's license, but issued an order of protection the prohibits the woman from being in the presence of children when she is on either drugs or alcohol.
It's important to note that others involved in accidents with impaired drivers do not have to depend on the adjudication of any pending criminal charges stemming from the incidents in order to successfully pursue compensation from the drivers and their insurance companies.
Source: New York Daily News, "Long Island woman feeling 'loopy' after taking 'half-bottle of pills' runs red light with young children in car, crashes into SUV," Graham Rayman, April 12, 2016