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Understanding the Ignition Interlock Device in New York

If you have been arrested on or after November 18, 2009, for driving while intoxicated (DWI) in New York and you are convicted, you will be required to install an ignition interlock device (IID) in any vehicle that you own or commonly operate for a minimum of at least 6 months. The IID is a preventative measure to assure that you do not drink and drive.

How It Works

An IID is a device installed in your car that you must blow into in order to start the ignition. The IID measures your blood alcohol level and will only permit the car to start if your breath sample falls within legal limits. After the initial sample required to start the vehicle, you will be required to give another breath sample within 5-15 minutes. While you are driving, you will be submitted to random rolling tests every 30 minutes.

If your BAC is above the legal limits during the initial test, your vehicle will not start. The IID will ask for a retest within the next 5 to 15 minutes. If that retest fails or is missed, your vehicle will not work until you get it serviced. Your vehicle will become inoperable if you do not submit the device for servicing within 5 days.

If you fail or miss a retest while driving, the IID will cause the horn to sound repeatedly and the headlights to flash until the vehicle is turned off.  Once the vehicle is turned off, the IID will not allow you to restart the vehicle without taking another initial breath test. If you miss three retests in a row, your car will become inoperable, and you will have to get the device serviced.

Installing an IID

Once you have been convicted of a DWI, you will be required to install the IID within 10 business days of sentencing and provide proof of its installation to the court, county probation department, and/or any other designated monitor. You will not be allowed to drive any vehicle without an IID after sentencing, so if you plan to drive home from court, you need to have the IID installed prior to receiving your sentence. Failing to report the installation of the IID within the time limits can lead to a harsher sentence.

You will be personally responsible for the costs related to installing and maintaining the IID in any vehicles that you own or operate. The cost of the IID for the minimum period of 6 months can range from $600 to $800. It can cost even more. The costs related to the IID are in addition to any fines, surcharges, or other costs imposed by law.

Operating any vehicle without an IID after sentencing will be against the law for the entire time you are required to have an IID in your car. The only exception to this rule may be employer-owned vehicles when pre-approved by the courts. You will be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor if you request, solicit, or allow another person to blow into your IID for you; tamper with or bypass the IID; or operate any motor vehicle without an IID.

Contact Us

An IID can be a difficult and frustrating device to have to deal with, but you can mitigate the effects. However, before the DWI conviction is the best time to deal with the problems posed by an IID. If you have been charged with a DWI in Nassau County, consider calling me, Jason Steinberger, at 718-585-2833 to discuss your options. I would be happy to represent you in your DUI case. You can contact me 24/7 for a free consultation.