Mom driving with daughter in car charged with DWI

A mother from Westchester County is charged with drunk driving on New Year's Eve.

January 3, 2011 2:25:11 PM PST
Suji Alexander-Raja did not want to talk to us about the disturbing events of New Year's Eve.

That's when state police in Dutchess County arrested the 37-year-old mother from Rye Brook on charges of aggravated driving while intoxicated here along the Taconic State Parkway.

Her breath sample to police registered a staggering .32. That's four times above the legal limit.

"It's a terrible thing that happened, especially to her. They are good neighbors. I know the mother and father. I am very, very surprised," Renato Ochoa, a neighbor, said.

Police say about 9:45 Friday night, Alexander-Raja ran off the parkway's southbound side in East Fishkill and struck a guardrail.

When the trooper arrived, the mother and her 6-year-old daughter were standing outside the car.

Police charged the mother under Leandra's Law, a felony charge, for driving drunk with a minor in the car.

Police contacted a family member to pick up the 6-year-old.

Her neighbors say she should have known better than to drive drunk with her daughter in the car.

"She's a doctor and I'm just amazed that would happen. I feel terrible for the parents and the child," Grace Marks said.

Alexander-Raja was arraigned in the Town of East Fishkill Court and remanded to Dutchess County Jail in lieu of $5,000 cash bail or $10,000 bond.

Do you have something to add to this story? Click here to contact Eyewitness News.