New York Crimes Involving the Ignition Interlock Device

Although only misdemeanors, the assortment of crimes that involved the tampering with a vehicle interlock device or the manipulation of an ignition interlock device are severe. Make no mistake, whether the police ascertain that you manipulated the interlock device by trying to remove it or have someone blow into it, there is a strong likelihood they will find out. If the police do not hear your horn honking or see your lights flashing, when the information from your device is downloaded, your potentially criminal behavior will be located.

VTL 1198(9)(a): If you ask anyone at all - sister, father, friend - to substitute your breath by blowing into a vehicle interlock device on your behalf, you have committed a crime by your mere solicitation. Remember, the "inventors" of the ignition interlock device were not naive. While the car may start with another person's breath, at points during its operation, the ignition interlock device will require that you breathe into it again even while the car is running.

VTL 1198(9)(b): The companion crime to VTL 1198(9)(a), if you are the individual who blows into an ignition interlock device for a driver who has been restricted by the device, you are committing a crime. It is not relevant whether or not you are being compensated for this or you believe you are just trying to "help" this other person out.

VTL 1198(9)(c): Any tampering of any kind in an attempt to circumvent an operable ignition interlock device is a crime.

VTL 1198(9)(d): If you, a person convicted of a DWI crime and required to maintain an ignition interlock device in your vehicle, operate any vehicle (yours or another person's) that does not contain this device, you will be charged with a crime.

It is important to note that VTL 1198(4)(a) permits the court to resentence you for your failure to comply with the proper use of the ignition interlock device.

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