With the passage of Chapter 496 of the Laws of 2009, commonly referred to as Leandra's Law, New York state joins nine other states implementing mandatory "first offender" ignition interlock laws. New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services
By law in the state of New York, a driver convicted of DWI or DWAI will be ordered to install a ignition interlock device (IID) in his or her car, designed to prevent the ignition from starting if a low level of alcohol can be detected on the driver's breath. Bearing the cost of purchasing and installing the device is the responsibility of the driver and is in addition to penalties that include fines, possible jail time and suspended driver's license. In New York, the device will remain in the vehicle for a minimum of six months and possibly as long as five years, depending upon the level of charges and the length of probation handed down as part of the sentence.
What Is The Purpose?
In New York, a judge may order the IID to be installed during the period of suspended license or at the conclusion of the suspension for a set probationary period. While a driver is on suspended license or probation, he or she is under court order not to drive following consumption of alcohol. However, courts have very little means to enforce the terms of the sentence.
If the ignition interlock device detects alcohol on the driver's breath, the car will not start and an alarm will sound, signaling the driver to remove the keys from the ignition. Most devices have a preset period of time the driver must wait after "failing" the test, and some will record information about the alcohol concentration detected each time the driver tries to start the engine.
When Will The Court Order An IID As Part Of The Sentence For A New York DWI?
Judges in New York are required to order an IID as part of mandatory sentencing laws. Not every DWI conviction carries mandatory penalties, however. Typically, mandatory IID laws take effect when the driver:
- Has multiple DWI or DWAI convictions on his or her record
- Was charged with DWI or DWAI while transporting a minor-aged passenger in the vehicle
- Had an unusually high blood alcohol concentration (BAC) above .08 percent
Proof That The Device Has Been Installed
New York requires drivers to show proof that the device was installed properly by an authorized installation professional. In addition, the driver may be ordered to subject the car to periodic inspections proving the IID continues to operate correctly and remains in working order. All costs associated with installing, inspecting, repairing and removing the device remain with the driver. However, judges have the discretion of reducing the DWI fine to offset the cost of the IID if the driver demonstrates financial hardship.
For additional information about ignition interlock devices, visit our article page DWI Penalties in New York.
Talk To Katz Lawyers Before You Do Anything
If your DWI or DWAI charges in New York will include a penalty to install an IID, call Katz Lawyers at 646-835-2330 in Manhattan or 718-876-8105 on Staten Island. Or contact us by email to arrange an initial consultation about your rights. Attorney Seth Katz has been protecting the rights of drivers charged with DWI and DWAI throughout New York for more than 15 years.