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Changes to Leandra’s Law could end up costing the County.

Leandra’s Law currently states that if a person is caught driving drunk with a child under 15 in the car they would be automatically convicted of a felony and have an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicle.

Director of the County’s Probation Department Julie Smith alerted the Genesee County Legislatures Public Service Committee last night that in an effort to fill gaps in the law State legislators have proposed that those convicted wear a bracelet that detects alcohol through sweat.

“Statewide only 30% of offenders who’ve been sentence under Leandra’s Law are actually getting a ignition interlock unit installed in their vehicles. So 70% of them don’t have it, but that 70% are getting waivers saying they don’t have the vehicles, they’ve transferred the titles to the spouse or significant other, so they’re not mandated to have that device,” said Smith.

Smith said the problem with the scram bracelet is the associated monitoring that would have to be done. She said the department would need more staff to respond to the alerts of offenders drinking.  

“It’s very well intended. The spirit of the law is there, but this device is not going to stop somebody from drinking and driving. It’s just going to stop them from drinking; they can still get in anybody’s car and drive away. It doesn’t prevent the driving component at all,” said Smith.

Smith said that the scram bracelet has its benefits, but it’s not the fix for gaps within Leandra’s Law.

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