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C. Islip woman faces Leandra's Law charge

Suffolk County police said Veronica Austin, of Central

Suffolk County police said Veronica Austin, of Central Islip, was charged with aggravated driving while intoxicated under Leandra's Law, as well as with endangering the welfare of a child and unlawful possession of marijuana. (June 15, 2012) Credit: SCPD

A 22-year-old woman who police said lost control of her sport utility vehicle, crashing into a wooded area along the Sunrise Highway service road in Bohemia late Thursday night and injuring her 5-year-old son, was arrested and charged with drunken driving and drug possession.

Suffolk County police said Veronica Austin, of 54 Casement Ave. in Central Islip, was charged with aggravated driving while intoxicated under Leandra's Law, as well as with endangering the welfare of a child and unlawful possession of marijuana. She also was charged with DWI based on a prior conviction within the past 10 years, police said.

Police said Austin's 5-year-old son suffered minor injuries in the crash, which happened at about 11:15 p.m. on the North Service Road of Sunrise Highway just west of Pond Road.

The boy was taken by Community Ambulance to Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center in East Patchogue. The extent of his injuries was not immediately known.

Police said Austin was headed westbound in her 2003 Chevrolet Trailblazer when she lost control of the vehicle, left the road and crashed in a wooded area. She was not injured.

Leandra's Law is named for 11-year-old Leandra Rosado, killed in a crash on the Henry Hudson Parkway in October 2009. Rosado was a passenger in a van, driven by a friend's mother, Carmen Huertas, who police said was driving drunk. Six other girls were injured.

The law makes it a felony, even on first offense, to drive drunk with a passenger younger than 16 in the vehicle.

Austin is scheduled for arraignment Friday in First District Court in Central Islip.

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