Cops: Freeport dad faces DWI charge after daughter, 14, reports him

Ja Mail Lewis, 37, of Freeport, has been Ja Mail Lewis, 37, of Freeport, has been charged with two counts of aggravated driving while intoxicated under Leandra's Law, police said. (Feb. 6, 2013) Photo Credit: NCPD

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A Freeport man was arrested and charged with drunken driving under Leandra's Law after his 14-year-old daughter, a passenger in the car with her younger sister, called 911 to report him Wednesday night, Nassau County police said.

The arrest occurred after a traffic stop by Highway Patrol Bureau officers on the westbound Long Island Expressway near Exit 39 in Roslyn at 9:45 p.m.

Arrested was Ja Mail Lewis, 37, of 102 Harrison Ave., who was charged with two counts of aggravated driving while intoxicated under Leandra's Law, as well as driving while ability impaired combined influence, driving while ability impaired drugs and driving while intoxicated.

He also was given a traffic summons, police said.

Lewis was arraigned Thursday in First District Court in Hempstead. He was being held on bail of $40,000 bond or $20,000 cash.

Hester Pannell, Lewis' mother and the grandmother of his two girls, said in a phone interview Thursday night that her son is still in jail. "I'm not going to bail him out," she said. "He made the wrong choices, so he has to live with them. I've talked to him before about his drinking."

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Lewis is a student and a carpenter's apprentice, Pannell said.

She said she is concerned that her son recover his tools, which were in his vehicle when it was impounded after his arrest.

Her grandchildren live with their mother, not with Lewis, Pannell said. Lewis was taking his daughters shopping Wednesday because Thursday was the younger girl's 13th birthday.

At the time of the incident, the girls "were a little shaken," but are fine now, their grandmother said.

Police said Lewis' 14-year-old daughter, who was in the car with her younger sister, called 911 to report "they were traveling on an unknown highway and her father was possibly drunk."

Officers spotted the vehicle after a notification was broadcast to patrol units -- and police said those officers conducted a traffic stop on the shoulder of the expressway.

Police said that after ensuring the safety of the two girls, officers determined Lewis was drunk and arrested him.

The girls were not hurt.

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Leandra's Law is named for 11-year-old Leandra Rosado, who was killed in a drunken driving crash when the van she was riding in overturned on the Henry Hudson Parkway in 2009.

The law makes it a felony to drive drunk with a child under age 16 in the vehicle.

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