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LI man may be first charged in NYC under Leandra's Law

A Riverhead man who allegedly drove drunk Tuesday on the Throgs Neck Expressway with his 3-year-old daughter will be charged under the newly passed Leandra's Law, officials said Wednesday.

Thomas Mager, 50, of Riverhead, appears to be the first person charged in New York City under the law.

Bronx police said they arrested Mager on Tuesday after they said he was seen driving at high speeds about 12:45 p.m. After Mager's Chevrolet Silverado was pulled over, police said, they found his daughter in the backseat.

Police said the girl was taken to the 45th Precinct in the Bronx, where a relative picked her up.

Steven Reed, a spokesman for Bronx District Attorney Robert T. Johnson, confirmed Wednesday that Mager would be charged under Leandra's Law, which went into effect Dec. 18.

"We have a host of charges," Reed said. "The complaint is not complete yet."

An arraignment was scheduled for later yesterday, Reed said.

Under the Child Passenger Protection Act, also known as Leandra's Law, it is a felony for anyone to drive while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs with children 15 years old or younger in the car. Previously, it had been a misdemeanor that could be reduced to a traffic violation.

Mager faces up to four years in prison if convicted.

Mager has been convicted twice of felony driving violations: operating a motor vehicle with a blood-alcohol level above the .08 percent legal limit in 2005 and operating a motor vehicle under the influence in 2000. In 1999, he also pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of driving under the influence.

Mager's father-in-law, Neil Ogden, of Wading River, said yesterday he was taking care of his granddaughter. "I can't tell you anything," Ogden said.

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