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New York drunk driving and ignition interlock device laws

In the past, this blog has covered the various penalties a person in New York will face if he or she is convicted of driving while intoxicated. One of these penalties involves the installation and use of an ignition interlock device on one’s vehicle.

If an individual in New York is convicted of drunk driving -- be it a felony or misdemeanor charge -- he or she will be ordered to have an ignition interlock device placed in his or her vehicle at his or her own cost. This is true even if it is an individual’s first offense. If the charges are for aggravated driving while intoxicated or a subsequent offense going back five years, all of an individual’s vehicles must be equipped with an ignition interlock device. This device must be in use during the entire revocation and probationary timeframes.

How do ignition interlock devices work? The device is hooked up to the vehicle’s ignition system. Through a breath test, it calculates the driver’s blood alcohol content level. If the driver’s BAC is too high, the vehicle won’t start. In some instances an individual’s license will be conditional. It may be taken away if the driver fails to adhere to the court’s orders or if the driver commits an additional traffic infraction.

It may go without saying that having an ignition interlock device placed on your vehicle is undesirable. Unfortunately, it is just one consequence that follows a drunk driving conviction. If you are wrongfully accused of driving while intoxicated, it is important to build a strong defense in your favor, so that you are not convicted of a crime you didn’t commit.

Source: NYSDMV, “You And The Drinking Driving Laws,” Accessed Nov. 2, 2015

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