A Freeport man facing driving while intoxicated charges was arrested Wednesday night after his teenage daughter alerted police that her father was “possibly drunk,” while driving on the Long Island Expressway, Nassau County police said.
The 14-year-old was riding in the car with her father and her 12-year-old sister when the teen dialed 911, police said. Responding officers spotted 37-year-old Ja Mail Lewis’ car stopped on the shoulder near Exit 39 on the LIE and investigated the call, police said.
The officers, police said, determined that he was intoxicated and placed him under arrest.
Lewis was charged under Leandra’s Law for aggravated driving while intoxicated. He was also charged with driving while ability impaired combined influence, driving while ability impaired by drugs and driving while intoxicated.
Jeffrey Reynolds, the executive director of Long Island Council on Alcoholism & Drug Dependence (LICADD), credited the teen for taking initiative and calling police.
“Each and every day there are countless young people on Long Island who cower in the back seats of cars unsure about what to do when a parent or family member is driving under the influence,” he said in an email.
“Leandra’s Law was a great step in the right direction,” he added, “but we need to do a better job of educating young people about how to handle those situations and empower more of them to speak up for their safety.”
Lewis will be arraigned at First District Court in Hempstead on Thursday.