Photo: Adobe Stock

A Calverton man was arrested on a felony DWI charge under Leandra’s Law after a traffic stop on West Main Street Monday night, Riverhead Police said in a press release.

Police said Jose Ardon Lopez, 31, was operating a motor vehicle in an intoxicated condition with a 5-year-old male passenger in his Toyota SUV at about 6 p.m. Monday.

Ardon Lopez was charged of DWI in violation of Leandra’s Law, which makes DWI a felony if the operator has a child passenger who is under the age of 16, and a charge of Endangering the Welfare of a Child, police said.

He was processed at Riverhead Police Department headquarters and held overnight for morning arraignment in Riverhead Justice Court, police said.

Leandra’s Law, also known as the Child Passenger Protection Act, was enacted in 2009, and is named for 11-year-old Leandra Rosado, of the Bronx, who was killed in October 2009 in a crash on the Henry Hudson Parkway in Manhattan. Leandra was one of seven children in the vehicle operated by a drunk driver. The operator of the vehicle was subsequently convicted of second-degree manslaughter and sentenced to 4 to 12 years in prison.

Anyone charged with DWI or driving while impaired with a passenger under age 16 is automatically charged with a Class E Felony, a crime punishable by 1 1/3 to 4 years in state prison.

Editor’s note: A criminal charge is an accusation. A person charged with a crime is presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.

The survival of local journalism depends on your support.
We are a small family-owned operation. You rely on us to stay informed, and we depend on you to make our work possible. Just a few dollars can help us continue to bring this important service to our community.
Support RiverheadLOCAL today.