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Police: Erratic driver stopped by off-duty cop faces Leandra's Law charge

Lucitania Espinal, 33, of Rockville Centre, was arrested

Lucitania Espinal, 33, of Rockville Centre, was arrested on Wednesday, July 8, 2015, and charged with DWAI-drugs, a felony under Leandra's Law, as well as with endangering the welfare of a child and unlawful possession of marijuana, police said. Credit: NYSP

A woman stopped by an off-duty NYPD officer after she was seen driving erratically on the Northern State Parkway in Dix Hills was arrested and charged with driving while ability impaired by drugs under Leandra's Law, State Police said.

Lucitania Espinal, 33, of Rockville Centre was arrested Wednesday afternoon by a trooper from the Brentwood barracks after a traffic stop near Wolf Hill Road at 4:20 p.m. Police said there was a 9-year-old child in the vehicle with Espinal. The relationship to Espinal was not detailed.

Police said the off-duty officer spotted Espinal driving erratically on the eastbound parkway and was able to detain her after she stopped on the exit ramp at Wolf Hill Road.

Troopers later determined Espinal was driving while impaired by drugs and was charged with a felony under Leandra's Law, as well as endangering the welfare of a child and unlawful possession of marijuana. After arraignment in First District Court in Central Islip Thursday, she posted a $2,000 bond and was released, online records show.

Leandra's Law is named for 11-year-old Leandra Rosado, who was killed when the car she was in, operated by a drunken driver, overturned on the Henry Hudson Parkway in October 2009. Six other girls, all of whom were attending a sleepover party, were injured.

The driver, Carmen Huertas, had a 0.12 percent blood alcohol content, and later pleaded guilty to several felonies. As a result, Leandra's Law, which makes it a felony, even on first offense, to drive drunk with a child who is 15 years old or younger in the vehicle, was enacted in November 2009.

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