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Mom arrested on Leandra's Law charges with baby in car, cops say

Margareth Mendoza, 36, of Amityville.

Margareth Mendoza, 36, of Amityville. Credit: NCPD

A mother driving with her 4-month-old child in the backseat was arrested in Wantagh and faces multiple charges, including violating Leandra's Law, after she left the scene of an earlier crash, Nassau police said.

Police said they discovered the suspect, Margareth Mendoza, 36, of Amityville, had left the scene of an accident when they stopped her for failing to signal as she drove west on Sunrise Highway at the intersection of Beech Street shortly before 7:30 p.m. Thursday.

Police had been alerted of her condition after someone near the Rite Aid on Merrick Road complained, they said. They soon located her black 2002 Honda Accord. 

Police said they determined that Mendoza had driven off after hitting a 2015 Toyota Camry; neither the 25-year-old man behind the wheel of that car or the woman with him was injured.

"During the investigation it was discovered that the defendant had glassy, bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, and a strong odor of alcohol on her breath," a police statement said.

Mendoza also was charged with driving while intoxicated, endangering the welfare of a child and "multiple traffic infractions," police said.

Under New York's Leandra Law, it is an automatic felony for anyone with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 percent to drive any passengers younger than 15 years old.

Mendoza's child was left in the custody of a relative, police said.

She was arraigned Friday in First District Court in Hempstead and bail was set at $2,500 cash or $5,000 bond, according to online court records. Mendoza is represented by the Legal Aid Society of Nassau County and her next court appearance is Tuesday .

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