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Ignition Interlock Devices

Westchester County Lawyers Providing Legal Assistance to Drivers Facing DWI Charges

In New York, drivers are subject to harsh penalties if convicted of a crime for driving while intoxicated (DWI), including court mandated installation of ignition interlock devices. While these devices are effective in preventing drunk driving, they can cause considerable expense, aggravation, and a lack of privacy for the driver. At Tilem & Associates, we can address any concerns you may have regarding court-ordered ignition interlock devices. With over 25 years of combined legal experience, our Westchester County DWI attorneys have provided unwavering defense representation to many people facing drunk driving charges in the New York City area.

New York Ignition Interlock Devices

An ignition interlock device measures the alcohol content in the breath of a driver. It is directly connected to the ignition system of a motor vehicle. The device prevents the engine from starting until it registers a breath sample with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) lower than .025 percent. Therefore, a driver of a vehicle installed with an ignition interlock device must exhale into a mouthpiece and provide an acceptable BAC before starting the vehicle each time. In addition, the ignition interlock device requires subsequent breath samples at random intervals after the engine has started. If the breath sample is not provided, or if the BAC level registers .025 percent or higher, the device will emit a warning followed by an alarm that will sound until the driver turns off the engine or provides an acceptable breath sample.

Under Leandra’s law, the court must order anyone convicted of a misdemeanor or felony DWI offense in New York to install and maintain an ignition interlock device on each vehicle that they own or operate. Even first-time DWI offenders are subject to the ignition interlock requirement if convicted. The ignition interlock requirement is in addition to any other penalties imposed for driving while intoxicated. Consequently, defending against a drunk driving charge can be crucial to avoid a conviction and ignition interlock device installation.

The court will typically impose an ignition interlock device requirement for a period of one year or longer following a DWI conviction. In some cases, the driver may petition the court for removal of the ignition interlock devices after it has been maintained on their vehicle for at least six months. The driver is responsible for the costs to install and remove the ignition interlock device, as well as payment of monthly monitoring fees, unless the court waives the cost due to financial unaffordability. Under a limited exception, qualifying drivers may seek approval to drive their employer’s vehicle without an ignition interlock device during the course of their employment. In most circumstances, however, driving a vehicle without an ignition interlock device in violation of a court order is a misdemeanor offense in New York.

Ignition interlock devices are sophisticated pieces of equipment, capable of monitoring and recording a significant amount of information. Most of these devices are equipped with a built-in camera or integrated facial recognition technology to confirm the identity of the person providing the breath sample. Depending on the classification requirements, the device may also be able to maintain a record of BAC measurements, provide GPS positioning of the vehicle, report real-time data to emergency responders, and more. An experienced DWI lawyer can explain these features in detail and inform you of the requirements in your particular situation.

It is not uncommon for those with ignition interlock devices installed to register an occasional false positive. These false positives can result in additional Court appearances and potential sanctions from the Court. If you are contacted about a false positive or if you are directed to go to Court about a positive ignition interlock device test it is important to contact an attorney immediately.

Consult a Westchester County Attorney Following a DWI Arrest

Avoiding installation of ignition interlock devices begins with fighting a DWI charge. At Tilem & Associates, our Westchester County lawyers are dedicated to providing a strong defense to each and every client, seeking to have charges reduced or dropped whenever possible. We can represent people residing throughout Bronx, Queens, Nassau, Kings, Suffolk, Rockland, Richmond, and Putnam Counties. Request a free consultation to discuss any criminal law matter by calling Tilem & Associates at 877-377-8666 or submitting our contact form online.