How Does an Ignition Interlock Device Work?



    Man blowing into breathalyzer IID

    Being convicted of a DWI comes with serious repercussions in the state of New York. On top of consequences such as fines, jail time, surcharges, or alcohol education courses, courts might require the installation of an ignition interlock device in the convicted individual’s vehicles. Continue reading to answer any questions you might have regarding an ignition interlock device and who will be required to use them.

    Why would I be required to have an ignition interlock device in New York?

    The installation of ignition interlock devices is an effort to keep drunk drivers off the road. In most cases, you will be required to install this device if you were found to have a high blood alcohol content of .18% or higher at the time of your DWI. Having a .18% blood alcohol content or higher is considered an aggravated DWI. You will also be required to install an ignition interlock device in your car if you were driving under the influence with a child under the age of 15 in your vehicle.

    The device will be connected to the ignition system of the driver’s car. The device will then determine the blood alcohol concentration of the individual by the driver blowing into the mouthpiece of the device. In the case that the BAC is above the set limit, the car will not start. To avoid the driver using another person’s breath to start the vehicle, the device requires additional breath tests while the vehicle is in motion. If the driver refuses to provide additional breath tests while driving, the device will then issue a warning and set off an alarm until the vehicle comes to a stop.

    How long will the device be installed?

    In 2009, Leandra’s Law was put into place that made changes to the state’s Vehicle and Traffic Law after an 11-year-old lost their life due to an intoxicated driver. The law strengthened penalties against drunk drivers by requiring the following: individuals sentenced for a DWI must have an ignition interlock device installed in all vehicles they own and the driver will have an ignition interlock restriction added to their driver’s license. After being sentenced, the driver must keep the device on their vehicle for a minimum of 12 months, or until the court states otherwise. The driver will have ten days to install the device.

    Contact our Firm

    Criminal matters can change the course of your life forever. This is why you need an experienced attorney who will aggressively combat your charges to help mitigate their long-term effects. If you are in need of experienced legal counsel for a criminal defense matter on Long Island or throughout New York State, please contact Grunwald & Seman, P.C. to schedule a consultation. We would be happy to assist you.

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