New York DWI – Ignition & Vehicle Interlock Device

Since August 15, 2010, if you are convicted of any DWI or DUI crime - VTL 1192.2, VTL 1192 3, VTL 1192.4, VTL 1192.2-a, etc. - you will be required to install an ignition interlock device (vehicle interlock device)in addition to any other civil or criminal penalties.

What is a Ignition Interlock Device

The ignition interlock device is almost like an intoxilyzer or breathilyzer installed in your vehicle. Before the automobile will start, you must blow into the interlock device. The device will measure your blood alcohol content (BAC) before engaging the ignition. If your BAC is recorded at .045 or higher, then the vehicle will not start. Even assuming the vehicle does start, your involvement with the vehicle interlock device will not end there. In fact, many devices require that you take a "rolling test." That is, at random times you will be required to submit to a test while you are driving. If you fail the test, the car may start to flash it's lights or honk it's horn. It may even turn off (not immediately).

Cost & Fees

The vehicle interlock device is far from free. Installation and monitoring is not paid by the government, but by you. The fee to install the interlock device is approximately $100. The fee for monthly monitoring is roughly the same. At the time of this monitoring, the ignition interlock device's database will be read to ascertain whether you failed or tampered with the device and potentially committed a new crime.

Crimes Associated with the Vehicle Interlock Device

Beyond the DWI crime for which you have been convicted, there are other offenses in the New York Vehicle and Traffic Law that were created at the time interlocking devices became mandatory. For example, it is a misdemeanor to solicit another person to blow in the ignition interlock or blow into the device on someone's behalf. If you tamper with the ignition interlock device or operate any other car or automobile that does not contain such a device despite a court order preventing you from doing so, then you will face additional misdemeanor charges. These misdemeanor crimes are all set forth under Article 1198 of the Vehicle and Traffic Law and include:

  • VTL 1198(9)(a)
  • VTL 1198(9)(b)
  • VTL 1198(9)(c)
  • VTL 1198(9)(d)

The ignition interlock device is not only an expensive deterrent to a DWI, but an embarrassing one that can result in new crimes if you try to manipulate the machine. Before accepting any plea deal that will require such a device, consult with a New York criminal lawyer experienced in DWI laws and crimes.

Call the New York felony ignition interlock lawyers and former New York County (Manhattan) prosecutors at (212) 312-7129 or contact us online today.

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