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Police: South Carolina man who drove drunk with 4 kids in SUV charged under Leandra’s Law

A South Carolina man was arrested early Friday and charged with aggravated drunken driving under Leandra’s Law after — police said — they discovered his 14-year-old daughter, 14-year-old niece and two sons, ages 10 and 6, and six other passengers in his vehicle during a traffic stop in Westbury.

Steve D. Marks, 35, of Ridgeland, was charged with four counts of aggravated DWI under Leandra’s Law after the stop on Old Country Road at 2:55 a.m., Nassau County police said.

Leandra’s Law makes it a felony, even on first offense, to drive drunk with children under age 16 as passengers.

Nassau County police said Marks also was charged with four counts of endangering the welfare of a child, DWI, and driving while ability impaired, and he was issued tickets for several vehicle and traffic law infractions. He faces arraignment Saturday in First District Court in Hempstead.

Police said Marks was driving a 2011 Ford Expedition west on Old Country Road when he was stopped by Third Precinct officers for failing to have his headlights on. A subsequent field sobriety test determined he was drunk, police said.

None of the children were properly restrained, and those children were released to the custody of their mothers, police said. There were no reported injuries. None of the others in the vehicle were identified; not by age or relationship to Marks.

Police said the SUV was impounded.

Leandra’s Law is named for 11-year-old Leandra Rosado, who was killed when the car she was riding in, driven by a friend’s mother, Carmen Huertas, overturned on the Henry Hudson Parkway in October 2009. An investigation determined Huertas was intoxicated. The law was enacted a month later.

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