Third Precinct police said they arrested a Great Neck woman for driving while intoxicated with a child in the car in Great Neck on Thursday night, in violation of Leandra’s Law.
Police said Jacqueline Gallo, 37, ran a red light at the intersection of East Shore Road and Vista Hill Road and could not stay in one lane. Police said they then pulled her over, found her intoxicated, and saw her 6-year-old son in the car.
Gallo, an East Shore Road resident, now faces charges of aggravated driving while intoxicated, endangering the welfare of a child, drinking while intoxicated, driving while intoxicated with a blood alcohol count above .08 and other moving violations.
Leandra’s Law, or the Child Passenger Protection Act, makes it an automatic felony to drive with someone 15 or under in the vehicle.
In an email to Blank Slate Media, Gallo said she had passed a yellow light steps from her building’s garage to get gas while her son sat in the booster seat so she could drive him to and back from school. This followed her having a drink at dinner, she said, after she had talked with him about his writers’ workshop.
“The NCPD treated me with kindness and respect, despite my charges, and I am especially grateful for the manner in which they protected my son, of whom they first became aware when I begged them not to wake him up, pointing and shushing at his sleeping figure, buckled safely and securely, one block from the gas station and only two or three from our apt,” Gallo wrote over email. “This could have happened to any mom or dad, and I hope that my experience serves as a cautionary tale to others.”
Gallo added that, she wants to make the most of this “terrible situation” and “tell other parents about my catastrophic mistake in the hopes of protecting children, just like my soon, who may find themselves in the same situation.”
Police said the defendant was brought to a hospital due to a medical condition and would be arraigned when it was practical.
Editor’s note: This article was edited to include comments from Jacqueline Gallo.