Most parents raise their sons and daughters to always do the right thing. But that may have backfired for a New York man whose teen daughter called 911 to report his DUI in progress.
Ja Mail Lewis and the mother of his girls must have done something right, but he wasn't at his best on Wednesday when police pulled him over for a suspected DUI.
They were tipped off by Lewis' 14-year-old daughter, who called to report her dad from the backseat of the car. A DUI is bad enough, but Lewis could now be in even bigger trouble because his passengers were underage.
At the time he was pulled over, Ja Mail Lewis had his two daughters in the car with him. His oldest daughter made the call, but his 12-year-old was also along for the ride, Long Island's News 12 reports.
Not only was Lewis charged with a DUI, he also allegedly violated a New York state law known as Leandra's Law.
Leandra's Law went into effect several years ago after a young girl died in a car accident. She was a passenger in the car of a drunken driver. Since then, it's been a felony in New York to drive intoxicated if a child under the age of 15 is a passenger.
New York isn't the only state to place higher penalties on drunken drivers who have kids in the car. Many other states will also charge drunken drivers with a felony if there are children in the same vehicle.
And it's not just DUIs. When it comes to seatbelts, fines can also be higher if children aren't buckled up, than if adults aren't strapped in. Some states also prohibit smoking in cars when children are present.
Lewis will have to go to trial to face the charges against him which include aggravated driving while intoxicated. But no matter the outcome, at least he can be proud of his daughter for making the call.
- Cops: teen calls 911 while dad drives drunk (New York's WNYW-TV)
- Leandra's Law: New York Drunk Driving Laws Become Stricter (FindLaw's KnowledgeBase)
- DUI First Time Offenders May Get Interlock Devices (FindLaw's Blotter)
- Browse DUI / DWI Lawyers by Location (FindLaw)