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Defendant: William Mendez (DOB 03/23/58)

Sept. 22, 2020 -- Westchester County District Attorney Anthony A. Scarpino, Jr. announced that William Mendez of Somers pleaded guilty today to driving while intoxicated with children in a vehicle last December. At the time, Mendez was driving a school bus for the Somers Central School District with young children on board.

Mendez appeared in Westchester County Court before Judge Melissa Loehr and pleaded guilty to Leandra’s Law, a class E felony related to driving while intoxicated with a child passenger.

He was released on his own recognizance. Sentencing is scheduled Sept. 20, 2021.

Background
On Dec. 9, 2019, around 4 p.m., the Somers Central School District had been notified by a parent that bus driver William Mendez was “acting strange” while driving children home. The Somers Central School District Director of Transportation immediately called Royal Coach Lines Somers Dispatch to have the driver cease operations and drove to the bus location on Stephanie Lane, where the director and other employees met the bus and relieved Mendez of his duties. He was taken to Northern Westchester Hospital for evaluation.

The New York State Police then began investigating the incident with the cooperation of the Somers Central School District. With assistance of the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office, a search warrant was signed by the town of Somers Court to obtain a biological sample from Mendez. Lab analysis revealed Mendez’s blood alcohol content was 0.22%.

Assistant District Attorney Michael D’Addario, Chief of the Pleadings Bureau in the Superior Court Trial Division, is prosecuting the case.

About Leandra’s Law: Leandra's Law (Chapter 496 of the Laws of 2009), amended the Vehicle and Traffic Law and the Penal Law to establish a new Class E felony related to driving while intoxicated with a child as a passenger; and to require that all individuals convicted of misdemeanor and felony DWI offenses install and maintain ignition interlock devices. Read more about Leandra's Law.

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