Manhattan woman faces Leandra's Law charge in LIE stop

Joanna Pagan, 32, of Manhattan, is led out Joanna Pagan, 32, of Manhattan, is led out of the Fourth Precinct in Hauppauge Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014. Pagan is charged with aggravated DWI under Leandra's Law after a highway patrol officer stopped her on the Long Island Expressway on Monday night -- and determined she was driving drunk with her 3-year-old son in the vehicle, police said. Photo Credit: James Carbone

advertisement | advertise on newsday

A 32-year-old Manhattan woman was arrested and charged with aggravated DWI under Leandra's Law after a highway patrol officer stopped her on the Long Island Expressway on Monday night and determined she was driving drunk with her 3-year-old son in the vehicle, police said.

The child was not injured, police said.

Joanna Pagan, of 1952 Second Ave., was charged with driving while intoxicated under Leandra's Law, which makes it a felony, even on first offense, to drive drunk with a child who is 15 years of age or younger in the vehicle.

She also was charged with endangering the welfare of a child and aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, Suffolk County police said.

Police said Highway Patrol Officer Thomas Joy stopped Pagan on the westbound Long Island Expressway near Exit 49, Route 110, in Melville, just after 10:30 p.m., after he saw her fail to maintain her lane of travel. During the subsequent interview and investigation, police said Joy determined that Pagan was intoxicated.

The child was released to the custody of a family member.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Leandra's Law is named for 11-year-old Leandra Rosado, who died in October 2009 in a crash on the Henry Hudson Parkway in Manhattan when a friend's mother, driving drunk, overturned her minivan, which was full of girls who had attended a sleepover. The driver, Carmen Huertas, later pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

Pagan was arraigned Tuesday in First District Court in Central Islip. She was released on her own recognizance.

The best of Newsday everyday in your inbox. Get the Newsday Now newsletter!

You also may be interested in: