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3 charged in separate Leandra's Law arrests, police say

Nassau police arrested two Long Island residents and a man from North Carolina this weekend for driving while intoxicated under Leandra’s Law.

Leandra's Law makes it an automatic felony on the first offense to drive drunk (.08 blood alcohol level or higher) with a person age 16 or younger inside the vehicle.

On Saturday night, a Lindenhurst man driving with an 11-year-old girl in the vehicle was arrested at Roosevelt Field mall in Garden City. Thomas Dalton, 48, of Buffalo Avenue in Lindenhurst, faces multiple charges including driving while intoxicated under Leandra's Law.

Nassau police said they responded to a call about an auto accident at 9:27 p.m. Saturday in a Roosevelt Field parking garage. Officers arrived and found Dalton bent over next to a blue Jeep Grand Cherokee that had been in a collision, police said. Dalton was incoherent and unable to stand, police said. Other details about the collision were not released. 

A woman and her 11-year-old daughter were in the vehicle at the time, police said. They were not injured.

Police arrested Dalton and transported him to a hospital for evaluation and treatment. He was charged with driving while ability impaired by drugs, aggravated driving while intoxicated under Leandra’s Law and endangering the welfare of a child. Bail was set at arraignment at $3,000 bond or $1,500 cash.

Attorney information for Dalton was not available.

A few hours later, Tommie Hooks, 42, of North Carolina, drove through a red light on Old Country Road in Westbury at about 2:20 a.m. Sunday with four children inside the vehicle, police said.

Hooks’ sons, ages 10 and 15, were passengers in the vehicle along with a niece, 11, and a nephew, 7, police said.

His cousin, 38, was also a passenger. All four children were released to a family member at the scene, police said. There were no injuries.

Hooks was arraigned Sunday at First District Court in Hempstead. He was represented by a court-appointed attorney and didn’t post his $2,000 cash bond, police said. He is due back in court Wednesday.

Just before 8 a.m. Sunday in Westbury, a Nassau police officer pulled over a 2007 Nissan driven by Elmer G. Martinez-Cartagena, 28, of Alexander Place in Glen Cove. for failing to maintain his lane and/or signal when he changed lanes. Police said Martinez-Cartagena had been operating the vehicle under the influence of an alcoholic beverage with his 1-year-old daughter sitting in a rear passenger child seat.

Martinez-Cartagena was arrested without incident and the child was released at the scene to a family member. No injuries were reported.

In addition to the Leandra’s Law charge, Martinez-Cartagena was charged with DWI, endangering the welfare of a child and numerous New York state vehicle violations. He is scheduled to be arraigned Monday in First District Court in Hempstead. It was not clear Sunday if he had an attorney.

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