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Ignition Interlock Devices and DWI in New York

In 2009, New York became one of a handful of states to enact a first offender requirement for Ignition Interlock Devices. In other words, a first-time DWI conviction will result in having an Ignition Interlock placed on your car. This strict requirement was part of the law creating Leandra’s Law, which also established a Class E felony and enhanced penalties for drunk driving with a child under 16 years old in the vehicle. The law requiring an IID for all persons convicted of a DWI was further strengthened in 2013. Learn more below about how IIDs work and when they are required in New York, and contact 888-DUI-LAWYER after a Long Island DUI arrest.

How IIDs Work

An ignition interlock device, or IID, is installed in your glove compartment or other part of the cabin and wired into the vehicle’s ignition system. The IID is connected to a handheld alcohol sensor, similar to the kind of portable alcohol screens police often use at roadside stops to develop grounds to arrest someone for DUI. Before you can start the car, you have to blow into the alcohol sensor, and if the machine measures as little as .025% blood alcohol content (BAC), then the car will not start.

In order to guard against an intoxicated person getting a sober person to blow into the device to start the car, the IID will also require rolling tests. This means that periodically while driving you will be required again to blow into the device. If you fail to take the running retest when notified, or if the sensor registers .025% BAC or more, the lights on the car will start flashing and the horn will start sounding. The flashing lights and horn will not stop until you pull over and turn the car off, and you will not be able to turn the car on again without blowing again and passing the IID’s breath screen. Also, since 2013 all IID installations in New York have also been equipped with a camera that records who is blowing into the device.

Not only are you required to have an IID installed after a DWI conviction, you must cover the costs related to the IID as well. This includes paying to have the device installed, leased and maintained, and eventually removed. The state has a list of approved devices and manufacturers so you can shop around for the best deal, but expect to pay around $100 for installation and about $80 per month to lease the device. You will also need to return to the installation service center every month or two for maintenance and calibration, and to have the data on the device downloaded and printed out. The IID records all starts and failed attempts to start, your BAC level at each test, the duration you have driven, and any failed rolling retests or attempts to tamper with the device.

When IIDs are Required after New York DWI

With the passage of Leandra’s Law in 2009, all persons convicted of a first-offense DWI will have to install an IID on all vehicles they operate for a minimum of six months. This period would begin at the end of any jail sentence, or following probation or conditional discharge. An IID can also be required if you are seeking a conditional license, or following an extended revocation period for a person with a problem driver restriction.

Avoid DUI, Avoid Ignition Interlocks

The way to avoid the hassle and expense of an IID is to avoid being convicted of DWI. You likely have DUI defenses available, and a skilled DWI or DUI attorney will review your case and develop the best strategy for securing a dismissal, favorable plea or acquittal at trial. In Long Island, call 888-DUI-LAWYER for strong and capable defense after any New York DWI, DWAI or other drunk driving arrest.

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