Why Would I Be Required to Have an Ignition Interlock Device in New York?



    When a person is convicted of a DWI in the state of New York, they can face serious repercussions as a result. This can include consequences such as jail time, hefty fines, surcharges, and attendance at an alcohol education course. In addition to this, courts may require the installation of an ignition interlock device. When dealing with these matters, it is important to be educated on the device and the laws behind it. Continue reading below to learn more. 

    How Does an Ignition Interlock Device Work?

    An ignition interlock device exists in an effort to keep drunk drivers off the road. This is done by connecting the device to the ignition system of the driver’s vehicle. It determines their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) by requiring the driver to blow into the mouthpiece of the device. If it detects a BAC above the set limit, then the vehicle will not start. In order to make sure that another person does not blow into the device for them, additional breath tests are required while the vehicle is in motion. If this is not done, the vehicle will make a record of it, issue a warning, and set off an alarm until the driver stops the vehicle. 

    How Long Will the Device be Installed?

    The state of New York signed Leandra’s Law into place in November of 2009. This made changes to the state’s Vehicle and Traffic Law in response to an 11-year old’s death due to an intoxicated driver. As a result, the law strengthened penalties against drunk drivers by requiring the following:

    • Individuals sentenced for a DWI on or after August 15, 2010 must have an ignition interlock device installed in any vehicle they own or operate
    • The driver will have an “ignition interlock” restriction added to their driver’s license

    If a driver is convicted under this law, the court must require an ignition interlock device to be installed. After sentencing, the driver has ten days to install the device in their car. It must remain in any of the driver’s vehicles for a minimum of 12 months unless the court states otherwise. Once this time is up, the ignition interlock monitor will give the driver a form that states they are no longer required to have the device installed in their vehicles. This must be brought to the local DMV to apply for a new license without the restriction so that the device can be removed. 

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    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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