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What is an ignition interlock used for in a DWI conviction?

What happens if you are required to have an ignition interlock installed in your vehicle after a drunk driving conviction? In the state of New York, many drivers have to deal with the ignition interlock system, since it has been mandatory for DWI convictions since August 2010. Even those defendants who have only been convicted of misdemeanors may be required to have these devices installed in their vehicles.

How does an ignition interlock work? These devices are installed in your vehicle and record the number of times that your vehicle has been started, along with the driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC). The machines also track how long you drive the vehicle when it is in operation. Ignition interlocks can prompt a driver to perform a breath test mid-drive, but they always provide plenty of notice to allow you to get to a safe place in order to complete the testing procedure.

Does the device have to be installed on all of my vehicles? Yes, if you are convicted of drunk driving in the state of New York, every vehicle you own — including motorcycles – needs to be outfitted with an ignition interlock device. If the vehicle is registered or titled in your name, then it falls under the jurisdiction of the court in this way.

Can I avoid having an ignition interlock installed on my car? A conviction in our state generally means that the interlock must be installed. The state is dedicated to monitoring those who have been convicted of a DWI charge. A dedicated criminal defense attorney can help you learn more about your legal rights and protecting your future, particularly where a drunk driving allegation is concerned.

Source: Go Broome County, “Ignition Interlock Device Monitoring,” accessed March 17, 2017

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