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Cops: DWI driver on LIE charged under Leandra's Law

A Deer Park man was charged under Leandra's Law Sunday after Nassau County police said he drove drunk with his 2-year-old son in the car on the Long Island Expressway.

Jonathan Johnson, 36, of 66 Claremont St., was driving his 2001 Acura at 80 mph in the LIE's westbound HOV lane in Old Westbury at about 4:09 p.m. when a state trooper tried to stop him, police said.

The vehicle crossed over the roadway hazard markings, and the driver initially did not pull over, police said. The car continued westbound on the shoulder, causing several vehicles to swerve to avoid collisions, police said.

Johnson stopped just east of the Wheatley Road overpass in Old Westbury, police said. Upon approaching the car, an officer saw a child in a car seat in the backseat and noticed that the driver smelled of alcohol, police said. Police also said the driver was in possession of a small amount of marijuana.

Johnson provided a breath-analyzer reading of .13 percent, police said. His son was released unhurt to his mother.

The driver was charged with aggravated driving while intoxicated, endangering the welfare of a child, reckless driving, unlawful possession of marijuana and several vehicle and traffic violations.

Under Leandra's Law, passed in November, the endangerment charge is a felony. The law was passed following the death of Leandra Rosado, 11, who was killed in a DWI accident after the minivan in which she was a passenger crashed on the West Side Highway.

The law makes it a felony to drive while intoxicated with anyone under 15 years old in the vehicle.

Johnson is scheduled to be arraigned Monday at First District Court in Hempstead.

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