New York’s state DWI law (known as Leandra’s Law) is among the strictest in the country. Under the law, anyone who is convicted of DWI is required to have an ignition interlock device (IID) installed in their vehicles to drive legally (with a restricted license).
People convicted of aggravated DWI for driving with a child in the vehicle (which was the case for the child who is the law’s namesake) or with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .18 or above typically need to have the IID installed for 12 months.
While many people dread the hassle, expense and embarrassment of having an IID in their car, it may be the only way they can drive legally for a time. It may be crucial to keep a job, go to school and take care of necessary errands. Of course, an IID can also save lives. That’s the primary reason for them.
How does the device work?
An IID, which works somewhat like a Breathalyzer, is attached to a vehicle’s ignition system. The vehicle won’t start until the driver blows into it to show that their BAC is under the designated limit. IIDs typically require “rolling retests” throughout a trip to show that the driver continues to remain sober.
If you have an IID installed, it’s crucial to understand how it works, what’s required of you and how to avoid issues that could land you in more legal trouble.
Having an IID on your vehicle is just one expense and inconvenience that can result from a DWI conviction. Don’t assume that a DWI arrest has to lead to a conviction. It may be possible to challenge the arrest or at least mitigate the consequences of the charge. That’s why it’s wise to have legal guidance from the beginning.