Ignition Interlock

On May 4th, in Brooklyn, a drunk driver hit a pedestrian with his vehicle. The pedestrian victim was struck with such force that he rolled onto the hood and cracked the vehicle’s windshield. The drunk driver was charged with drunk driving, circumventing the ignition interlock device, drug possession and failure to yield. The driver had an ignition interlock device installed on his vehicle due to a previous DWI.

In 2013, the driver had pleaded guilty to drunk driving and drug possession after he struck another vehicle. The driver then proceeded to urinate on the vehicle he struck. In response to a plea bargain, the driver agreed to have an ignition interlock device installed in his car.

While this man has not been sentenced yet, avoiding a ignition interlock device and already having one DWI on his record will likely result in harsh penalties due to New York’s desire to cut down on repeat drunk drivers.

What Are Ignition Interlock Devices?

An ignition interlock devices is a machine that is hooked up to a vehicle’s ignition system. While they vary in their mechanical construction, most of them require a driver to blow into the device before they can start their car. The device will prevent the driver from starting the vehicle unless the driver’s breath is free from alcohol. Generally, if ignition interlock is ordered by the court, the driver must install them on all cars that they own and leave the interlock device installed for a period of at least sixth months. On the back of the driver’s license it will indicate that they have been ordered to install an interlock device.

How Many Devices Are In New York?

In 2015, there were 17,104 orders placed for ignition interlock devices in all the counties of New York. Of those devices ordered, only 26.9 percent were installed. Ignition interlock devices are not installed for a variety of reasons. Some of this is because of the arrangement of pleas or costs, but either way it is clear that the ignition interlock program could be more effective as just over a quarter of the devices ordered were actually installed. However, those that have been installed for the most part help reduce the number of drunk drivers on the roads.

Circumvention of Ignition Interlock Devices

While it is unclear as to how the Brooklyn man in the story above circumvented his ignition interlock device, getting someone to blow into the machine to “trick” the machine can come with serious penalties. There are several laws in New York that prevent a drunk driver from asking another individual or having another individual perform the breath test on a device. New York makes tampering with an ignition interlock device a Class A misdemeanor. A majority of other states around the country impose similar penalties.

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DISCLAIMER: The exclusive purpose of this article is educational and it is not intended as either legal advice or a general solution to any specific legal problem. Statewide Defense with Corporate offices Central located  for The DWI GUYS at 432 N. Franklin Street, Syracuse, NY 13204; Telephone No.: 1-800-394-8326.  Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.