Driver tip leads to Saratoga Springs mom being sentenced to jail

Missy Brewer was steering her van with her knees and taking tokes from a marijuana pipe on Inters


Missy Brewer was steering her van with her knees and taking tokes from a marijuana pipe on Interstate 87, when another motorist noticed she had four young children in the back.

The concerned driver alerted authorities about Brewer and then followed her more than 20 miles down the highway into Colonie. And when Brewer parked her car at a business, state police troopers were there to arrest her on a slew of charges, including one under Leandra’s Law.

Brewer, 31, of Saratoga Springs, was sentenced Thursday to serve three months in jail and five months probation for admitting to one felony count of aggravated driving while intoxicated with a child in the vehicle. She was also convicted on one misdemeanor count of endangering the welfare of a child stemming from the March 28 incident.

Judge Thomas Breslin also ordered Brewer’s license revoked and mandated that she have an ignition interlock installed on her vehicle in accordance with the law, which toughened the penalties for driving under the influence with a child onboard. Brewer was also fined $1,000 for the conviction.

“I commend the 911 caller for getting involved, contacting the police and quite possibly saving the lives of the four innocent children riding in the car that afternoon,” Albany County District Attorney David Soares said in a statement released after Brewer’s sentencing. “It is citizens like this that are helping us and our partners in law enforcement keep our streets safe for everyone.”

Authorities said Brewer was driving on a suspended license when she was spotted smoking marijuana in her vehicle on I-87 in the vicinity of Saratoga Springs. Her four children — between the ages of 2 and 5 — were riding in the back seat of her van.

Heather Orth, a spokeswoman for Soares, said Brewer did not have any prior convictions before her arrest. She said the ignition interlock is mandated under Leandra’s Law, even if the case involves controlled substances and not alcohol.

Leandra’s Law was named for 11-year-old Leandra Rosado, who was the only passenger among seven killed after a single-car drunken driving accident in Manhattan. Carmen Huertas, the driver of the vehicle, pleaded guilty to 16 charges in August and is now awaiting sentencing.

Lenny Rosado, the deceased girl’s father, lobbied the state Legislature to pass stricter laws to punish those who drive under the influence with children in their vehicle. Under the legislation, anyone convicted of driving under the influence with a passenger under the age of 16 can face up to four years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

Orth said Brewer is one of about 10 people convicted of the charge in Albany County since the law was enacted in November 2009. She said Brewer did not make a statement in court.

Joseph Meany, Brewer’s public defender of record, could not be reached for comment.

Categories: Schenectady County

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