Assembly Transportation Committee chairman David Gantt, D-Rochester, is being criticized by one of his primary opponents for not moving a bill that would close a loophole allowing certain DWI offenders to avoid installing ignition interlock systems.
Jose Cruz, a city school board member and former county legislator, accused Gantt is not putting the safety of children above politics. The measure was not moved out of the Transportation Committee last week, and Gantt said the bill needed more study.
“Today, I join the thousands of citizens and community leaders statewide in my support of strengthening Leandra’s Law. This bill is too important to hold in committee,” Cruz said in a statement. “We still have not received a clear answer to why this bill is being held up. The citizens of New York deserve answers.”
Cruz is challenging Gantt, left, who was first elected in 1982, in a Democratic primary, as is John Lightfoot, a Monroe County legislator.
Gantt said last week that the bill wasn’t ready to be adopted. Leandra’s Law, which was first passed in 2009, requires anyone convicted of drunk driving with a child in the car to install a breathalyzer system in their vehicles for six months after their conviction. But the law is often skirted, and the bill would make it more difficult for the law to be violated.
“It’s a serious matter for all of us, but we want to make sure that we’re going down the right track before we get over it and all of a sudden we have to turn back,” Gantt said last week.