Using an ignition interlock device

Installing and maintaining an ignition interlock device is the responsibility of a person convicted of drunk driving in New York.

New York residents who have been arrested for and charged with suspected driving while intoxicated offenses should begin to learn not only about their defense options but also about the consequences associated with a DWI conviction. Losing the right to drive can be one consequence that many people fear greatly as this may made it difficult if not impossible for them to get to and from work or other important places.

New York law does allow some people convicted of drunk driving charges to retain the ability to drive if they install and use an ignition interlock device.

What exactly is an IID?

As the name implies, an ignition interlock device has the ability to essentially lock a vehicle's ignition. The device includes a handheld unit into which people provide breath samples and a microchip that receives the results and either keeps an ignition locked or allows it to be started.

When must an IID be used?

Before a vehicle can be started, a clean sample with a blood alcohol content below 0.025 percent is required. This means that every time a person wants to go anywhere in their car, they must blow into the device.

In addition, a driver will be prompted to provide breath samples at random intervals while actively driving. If one of these samples exceeds the predesigned limit, alerts will go off until the vehicle is brought to a stop.

How accurate are ignition interlock devices?

Intoxalock, an IID provider, explains that devices may pick up alcohol from a variety of substances like mouthwash even. It is even recommended that people avoid eating or drinking anything other than water for up to 15 minutes prior to taking a test. This would mean that a person should not plan to have their coffee and muffin on the way to work as they may have just taken a bite and then need to provide a breath sample.

Who pays for IIDs?

The driver that must install an ignition interlock device generally assumes all financial responsibility for the installation and maintenance. This includes regular calibrations that are ordered at set times through the required use time. There may be assistance available for some people who cannot afford these costs.

How can I learn more about the IID requirement?

It is always wise for people who are facing DWI convictions to talk with an attorney in New York. This will provide them access to someone who knows the laws and can help them protect their rights.